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There are many questions one can ask about human language: its distinctive properties, neural representation, characteristic uses including use in communicative contexts, variation, growth in the individual, and origin. Every such inquiry is guided by some concept of what 'language' is. Sharpening the core question--what is language?--and paying close attention to the basic property of the language faculty and its biological foundations makes it clear how linguistics is firmly positioned within the cognitive sciences. Here we will show how recent developments in generative grammar, taking language as a computational cognitive mechanism seriously, allow us to address issues left unexplained in the increasingly popular surface-oriented approaches to language. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Martin B H Everaert, Marinus A C Huybregts, Noam Chomsky, Robert C Berwick, Johan J Bolhuis. Structures, Not Strings: Linguistics as Part of the Cognitive Sciences. Trends in cognitive sciences. 2015 Dec;19(12):729-43

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PMID: 26564247

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