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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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An Evolutionary Perspective on the Architecture

An Evolutionary Perspective on the Architecture

(p.231) CHAPTER 8 An Evolutionary Perspective on the Architecture
Foundations of Language

Ray Jackendoff

Oxford University Press

One of the issues raised by the nativist claim is that the capacity to learn language must have emerged at some point in the evolution of the human species. However, it is difficult to see how a capacity of the complexity usually assumed by linguists could have evolved through natural selection. It turns out that the parallel model offers more attractive possibilities for an incremental evolution of the language capacity. This chapter discusses some possible stages in this evolution, showing how they are reflected in the organization of present day language. A glaring gap in most approaches to generative grammar has been the absence of a theory of semantics of any sophistication.

Keywords:   symbols, semantic relations, phrase structure, relational concepts, syntax, morphology, grammatical functions, Universal Grammar

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