CARTA: How Language Evolves: Ray Jackendoff: What Can You Say without Syntax?

4/9/2015; 20 minutes

In this talk Ray Jackendoff explores forms of language with very limited organization. Such languages largely lack the familiar manifestations of syntactic structure, but they still manage to map between sound and meaning. Examples include early stages of child language, stages in acquisition of second languages by adults, pidgins, "home sign" (the sign systems invented by deaf children with no sign language input), and "village signs" spoken in isolated communities with hereditary deafness. He suggests that linear grammar is a plausible steppingstone in the evolution of the language faculty – an intermediate stage between primate call systems and modern human language. Recorded on 2/20/2015. (#29402)

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