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Is the Language Faculty Non Linguistic?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889199143 Year: Pages: 123 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-914-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2016-01-19 14:05:46
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A line of research in cognitive science over several decades has been dedicated to finding an innate, language-specific cognitive system, a faculty which allows human infants to acquire languages natively without formal instruction and within short periods of time. In recent years, this search has attracted significant controversy in cognitive science generally, and in the language sciences specifically. Some maintain that the search has had meaningful results, though there are different views as to what the findings are: ranging from the view that there is a rich and rather specific set of principles, to the idea that the contents of the language faculty are - while specifiable - in fact extremely minimal. But other researchers rigorously oppose the continuation of this search, arguing that decades of effort have turned up nothing. The fact remains that the proposal of a language-specific faculty was made for a good reason, namely as an attempt to solve the vexing puzzle of language in our species. Much work has been developing to address this, and specifically, to look for ways to characterize the language faculty as an emergent phenomenon; i.e., not as a dedicated, language-specific system, but as the emergent outcome of a set of uniquely human but not specifically linguistic factors, in combination. A number of theoretical and empirical approaches are being developed in order to account for the great puzzles of language - language processing, language usage, language acquisition, the nature of grammar, and language change and diversification. This research topic aims at reviewing and exploring these recent developments and establishing bridges between these young frameworks, as well as with the traditions that have come before. The goal of this Research Topic is to focus on current developments in what many regard as a paradigm shift in the language sciences. In this Research Topic, we want to ask: If current explicit proposals for an innate, dedicated faculty for language are not supported by data or arguments, how can we solve the problems that UG was proposed to solve? Is it possible to solve the puzzles of language in our species with an appeal to causes that are not specifically linguistic?

The Grammar of Multilingualism

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889450121 Year: Pages: 195 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-012-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-02-27 16:16:44
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This volume investigates the nature of grammatical representations in speakers who master multiple languages. Since the early days of modern formal approaches to grammar, most work has been based on the language of monolingual humans. Less work has been conducted based on data from speakers who possess more than one language. Although important insights have been gained from a monolingual focus, there is every reason to believe that bi- and multilingual data can inform linguistic theory. A lot of ongoing work demonstrates that this is indeed the case, and the current volume contributes to this growing literature. Thus, the research topic addresses a number of questions relating to grammatical structures in multilingual speakers as well as the methodological issues that arise in the context of studying such speakers. A better understanding of the grammatical sides of multilingualism is crucial for understanding the human language capacity and in turn for offering better advice to the public concerning issues of language choice for multilingual children and adults, education, and language deficits in multilingual individuals.

Investigating Grammar in Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455492 Year: Pages: 141 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-549-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Psychology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD hereafter) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by deficits in communicative and social skills. The vast majority of research on language in ASD has focused on pragmatic difficulties, while less is known about structural aspects of language in this population. Work on syntax and phonology is not only sparse, but the heterogeneity in these grammatical domains has moreover led to conflicting reports that they are either intact or impaired. More remains to be understood about variations in grammatical profiles in ASD, as well as the relation of grammar to other cognitive abilities.The body of research gathered here increases our understanding of the grammatical strengths and weaknesses in ASD. The contributions carefully elucidate the relations between grammar and other areas of cognition, as well as unveil the similarities and differences of grammar in ASD compared to other conditions. The result is a volume that provides new ways to think about language and communication in ASD, and beyond, which should be of interest to both linguists and clinicians.

Linguistic Influences on Mathematical Cognition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452002 Year: Pages: 173 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-200-2 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Psychology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-13 14:57:01
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For many years, an abstract, amodal semantic magnitude representation, largely independent of verbal linguistic representations, has been viewed as the core numerical or mathematical representation This assumption has been substantially challenged in recent years. Linguistic properties affect not only verbal representations of numbers, but also numerical magnitude representation, spatial magnitude representations, calculation, parity representation, place-value representation and even early number acquisition. Thus, we postulate that numerical and arithmetic processing are not fully independent of linguistic processing. This is not to say, that in patients, magnitude processing cannot function independently of linguistic processing we just suppose, these functions are connected in the functioning brain. So far, much research about linguistic influences on numerical cognition has simply demonstrated that language influences number without investigating the level at which a particular language influence operates. After an overview, we present new findings on language influences on seven language levels: - Conceptual: Conceptual properties of language- Syntactic: The grammatical structure of languages beyond the word level influences- Semantic: The semantic meaning or existence of words- Lexical: The lexical composition of words, in particular number words- Visuo-spatial-orthographic: Orthographic properties, such as the writing/reading direction of a language- Phonological: Phonological/phonetic properties of languages- Other language-related skills: Verbal working memory and other cognitive skills related to language representationsWe hope that this book provides a new and structured overview on the exciting influences of linguistic processing on numerical cognition at almost all levels of language processing.

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