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Foundations of LanguageBrain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution$
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Ray Jackendoff

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270126

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270126.001.0001

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Language as a Mental Phenomenon

Language as a Mental Phenomenon

Chapter:
(p.19) CHAPTER 2 Language as a Mental Phenomenon
Source:
Foundations of Language
Author(s):

Ray Jackendoff

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270126.003.0002

Language is instantiated in the minds and therefore the brains of language users, so that linguistics can be regarded as a branch of psychology. This chapter asks what it means to say that linguists are modeling the mind, and reinterprets in a more tractable light the important distinction between competence and performance, i.e., between speakers' knowledge of a language and their ability to put that knowledge to use. Topics discussed include the meaning of ‘mental’, how to interpret linguistic notation mentally, knowledge of language, competence versus performance, and language in a social context.

Keywords:   linguistic notation, knowledge, competence, performance

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