Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution (Hardback)
  • Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution (Hardback)
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Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution (Hardback)

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£115.00
Hardback 498 Pages / Published: 24/01/2002
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Already hailed as a masterpiece, Foundations of Language offers a brilliant overhaul of the last thirty-five years of research in generative linguistics and related fields. "Few books really deserve the cliche 'this should be read by every researcher in the field'," writes Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct, "but Ray Jackendoff's Foundations of Language does." Foundations of Language offers a radically new understanding of how language, the brain, and perception intermesh. The book renews the promise of early generative linguistics: that language can be a valuable entree into understanding the human mind and brain. The approach is remarkably interdisciplinary. Behind its innovations is Jackendoff's fundamental proposal that the creativity of language derives from multiple parallel generative systems linked by interface components. This shift in basic architecture makes possible a radical reconception of mental grammar and how it is learned. As a consequence, Jackendoff is able to reintegrate linguistics with philosophy of mind, cognitive and developmental psychology, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and computational linguistics. Among the major topics treated are language processing, the relation of language to perception, the innateness of language, and the evolution of the language capacity, as well as more standard issues in linguistic theory such as the roles of syntax and the lexicon. In addition, Jackendoff offers a sophisticated theory of semantics that incorporates insights from philosophy of language, logic and formal semantics, lexical semantics of various stripes, cognitive grammar, psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic approaches, and the author's own conceptual semantics.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198270126
Number of pages: 498
Weight: 995 g
Dimensions: 251 x 180 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Jackendoff engages in a moderate and reasonable way with some of the critics of Chomsky's many controversial claims ... well written and provides a valuable and interesting account of the Chomskian approach to linguistics and how Jackendoff thinks this school of thought should reform itself in order to respond better to some of the intellectual challenges that it currently faces. * Applied Cognitive Psychology *
A masterpiece ... The concluding chapters of Foundations of Language concern meaning and reference. These tightly argued sections provide a superb and in many ways novel introduction to lexical and phrasal semantics, and to the relationship between language and the world ... deserves a wide readership. * Nature *
The importance of Foundations of Language is not in its particular proposals. It inheres rather in the fact that the book is a serious attempt to re-integrate theoretical linguistics into cognitive science. * David Adger, Times Literary Supplement *
A book that deserves to be read and reread by anyone seriously interested in the state of the art of research on language. * Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, American Scientist *
A sweeping survey of every major aspect of language and communication. Jackendoff fundamentally reexamines linguistic theory and our quest to understand human nature and cognition. * Science News *
Few books really deserve the cliche "this should be read by every researcher in the field," but Ray Jackendoff's Foundations of Language does. I think it is the most important book in the sciences of language to have appeared in many years. Jackendoff has long had a genius for seeing both the forest and the trees, and he puts his gift to good use here in a dazzling combination of theory-building and factual integration. The result is a compelling new view of language and its place in the natural world. * Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, MIT and author of The Language of Instinct and Words and Rules *

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