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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.

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