Structures, Not Strings: Linguistics as Part of the Cognitive Sciences

  title={Structures, Not Strings: Linguistics as Part of the Cognitive Sciences},
  author={Maarten Everaert and Marinus A. C. Huybregts and Noam Chomsky and Robert C. Berwick and Johan J Bolhuis},
  journal={Trends in Cognitive Sciences},
Theoretical Linguistics
Exploring the implementation of call comprehension in the primate brain not only has the potential to fruitfully employ pre-existing theoretical tools (as with formal monkey semantics), but could also generate insights into the evolutionary questions briefly discussed by Schlenker et al.
Rule-based and word-level statistics-based processing of language: insights from neuroscience
Drawing distinctions between rule-based hierarchical models and statistics-based linear string models for comprehension are reviewed.
Assessing the uniqueness of language: Animal grammatical abilities take center stage
It is argued that the currently available evidence is insufficient to arrive at firm conclusions concerning the limitations of animal grammatical abilities, and the gap between human linguistic rule-learning abilities and those of nonhuman animals may be smaller and less clear than is currently assumed.
Assessing the uniqueness of language: Animal grammatical abilities take center stage.
Questions related to the uniqueness of language can only be addressed properly by referring to sound knowledge of the relevant cognitive abilities of nonhuman animals. A key question concerns the
If everything is syntax, why are words so important? An a-morphous but non-lexicalist approach
It can be concluded that bound morphemes (roots and affixes) are neither syntactic nor conceptual entities, but purely morphophonological ones.
Humans, machines, and language: A deep alignment in underlying computational styles?
To directly evaluate parallels in the internal operations of artificial neural networks, multi-level measures of word-by-word sentence interpretation from ANNs are extracted, and Representational Similarity Analysis is used to test these against the representational geometries of real-time brain activity for the same sentences heard by human listeners.
Generative Grammar: A Meaning First Approach
The view of the structure of grammar leads to a reassessment of priorities in linguistic analyses: while current mainstream work is often focused on establishing one-to-one relationships between concepts and morphemes, this view makes it plausible that primitive concepts are frequently marked indirectly or unpronounced entirely.
When Grammar and Parsing Agree
The current opinion article shows how a research program in which linguistics and psycho-/neurolinguistics engage in a tighter dialog with the aim of highlighting the relation between theoretical formalizations, cognitive mechanisms and their neurobiological implementation can be successfully implemented.


Language and Other Cognitive Systems. What Is Special About Language?
The traditional conception of language is that it is, in Aristotle's phrase, sound with meaning. The sound-meaning correlation is, furthermore, unbounded, an elementary fact that came to be
Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of Language Acquisition
Drawing together a vast body of empirical research in cognitive science, linguistics, and developmental psychology, Michael Tomasello demonstrates that we don't need a self-contained "language
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.
How hierarchical is language use?
Evidence from the recent literature support the hypothesis that sequential structure may be fundamental to the comprehension, production and acquisition of human language and a preliminary sketch outlining a non-hierarchical model of language use is provided.
Three Factors in Language Design
The biolinguistic perspective regards the language faculty as an organ of the body, along with other cognitive systems. Adopting it, we expect to find three factors that interact to determine (I-)
What exactly is Universal Grammar, and has anyone seen it?
This paper critically examines a variety of arguments that have been put forward as evidence for UG, focussing on the three most powerful ones: universality (all human languages share a number of properties), convergence (all language learners converge on the same grammar in spite of the fact that they are exposed to different input), and poverty of the stimulus (children know things about language which they could not have learned from the input available to them).
Why Only Us: Language and Evolution
We are born crying, but those cries signal the first stirring of language. Within a year or so, infants master the sound system of their language; a few years after that, they are engaging in
Processing Polarity: How the Ungrammatical Intrudes on the Grammatical
This article investigates an unusual instance of dependency resolution, the processing of negative and positive polarity items, and confirms a surprising prediction of the cue-based retrieval model: Partial-cue matches can give rise to the intrusion of ungrammatical retrieval candidates, leading to both processing slow-downs and errors of judgment.