Pirahã Culture and Grammar: A Response to Some Criticisms

@article{Everett2009PirahCA,
  title={Pirah{\~a} Culture and Grammar: A Response to Some Criticisms},
  author={Daniel L. Everett},
  journal={Language},
  year={2009},
  volume={85},
  pages={405 - 442}
}
  • D. Everett
  • Published 31 July 2009
  • Linguistics
  • Language
This article responds to criticisms of the proposals of Everett 2005 by Nevins, Pesetsky, and Rodrigues (2009, this issue). It argues that their criticisms are unfounded and that Pirahã grammar and culture are accurately described in Everett 2005. The article also offers more detailed argumentation for the hypothesis that culture can exert an architectonic effect on grammar. It concludes that Pirahã falsifies the single prediction made by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch (2002) that recursion is the… 

Language, the Parent of Thought: Speculating with Hegel

We speculate with Hegel about language, critiquing interpretations of Hegel’s views on language given by Jim Vernon, John McCumber, Stephen Houlgate, and Michael N. Forster, as well as defending

What does Pirahã grammar have to teach us about human language and the mind?

  • D. Everett
  • Linguistics
    Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science
  • 2012
The influence of culture on Pirahã grammar and much established and newer research indicates that the idea of an innate, universal grammar has little if any role to play in the understanding of the nature, origins, and use of human language.

Evidence and argumentation: A reply to Everett (2009)

This discussion note is a brief response to Everett (2009, E09), which was a reply to our assessment (Nevins, Pesetsky, & Rodrigues 2009, NPR but if they are correct nonetheless, they weaken rather

Recursion in language : a critical discussion.

The role of recursion in sentences is examined and the hypothesis that it also plays an important role in the structuring of discourse is investigated, which would confirm the view that recursion is a fundamental feature of language.

In Defense of Idealizations : A Comment on Stokhof & van Lambalgen

I think that some of the arguments in this article are themselves flawed, or are based on an understanding of linguistics that is too narrowly focused on certain versions of generative grammar. For

Some reflections on the notion of recursion1

The paper examines the different ways in which the notion of ‘recursion’ has been conceived and defined in linguistics, from Chomsky’s early works to the present day. Two meanings appear to

Daniel L. Everett, How language began: The story of humanity’s greatest invention . New York: W. W. Norton, 2107. Pp. xviii + 306.

the lifespan’ (618). This lifespan perspective is important because recent research has documented that the development of pragmatic disorders is not dependent upon one’s culture, lifestyle or

Recursion in Language: A Layered-Derivation Approach

  • J. Zwart
  • Computer Science
    Biolinguistics
  • 2011
This paper argues that recursion in language is to be understood not in terms of embedding, but in termsOf derivational layering, arguing that there is reason to believe that the grammar of Pirahã is recursive after all.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 63 REFERENCES

Pirahã Exceptionality: A Reassessment

Everett (2005) has claimed that the grammar of Pirahã is exceptional in displaying 'inexplicable gaps', that these gaps follow from a cultural principle restricting communication to 'immediate

Sapir, Reichenbach, and the Syntax of Tense in Pirahã

This paper investigates temporal interpretations in Pirahâ, a Muran language spoken in the Brazilian Amazon basin and argues that languages may be parametrized as [+R] or [-R] and that this has important implications for their temporal syntax.

Cultural Constraints on Grammar and Cognition in Pirahã

The Pirah language challenges simplistic application of Hocketts nearly universally accepted design features of human language by showing that some of these features (interchangeability,

Context, culture and structuration in the languages of Australia

▪ Abstract Using Australian languages as examples, cultural selection is shown to shape linguistic structure through invisible hand processes that pattern the unintended outcomes (structures in the

As Time Goes By: Tense and Universal Grammar

Norbert Hornstein shows how Reichenbach's basic ideas can be combined with poverty-of-stimulus considerations to yield a restricted account of possible tense in natural language, and proposes a theory of natural-language tense that will be responsive to the language-acquisition problem.

The faculty of language: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve?

We argue that an understanding of the faculty of language requires substantial interdisciplinary cooperation. We suggest how current developments in linguistics can be profitably wedded to work in

Bio-Linguistics: The Santa Barbara lectures

In this new work, Givon points out that language operates between aspects of both complex biological design and adaptive behavior, and that the whole is an adaptive compromise to competing demands.

What is Language? Some Preliminary Remarks*

There are three essential I want to get across in this article in addition to the analysis of relations of nonlinguistic to linguistic intentionality. First I want to emphasize how the structure of

The myth of language universals: language diversity and its importance for cognitive science.

This target article summarizes decades of cross-linguistic work by typologists and descriptive linguists, showing just how few and unprofound the universal characteristics of language are, once the authors honestly confront the diversity offered to us by the world's 6,000 to 8,000 languages.
...