I-Language: An Introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science

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OUP Oxford, Apr 24, 2008 - Philosophy - 336 pages
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I-Language introduces the uninitiated to linguistics as cognitive science. In an engaging, down-to-earth style Daniela Isac and Charles Reiss give a crystal-clear demonstration of the application of the scientific method in linguistic theory. Their presentation of the research programme inspired and led by Noam Chomsky shows how the focus of theory and research in linguistics shifted from treating language as a disembodied, human-external entity to cognitive biolinguistics - the study of language as a human cognitive system embedded within the mind/brain of each individual. The recurring theme of equivalence classes in linguistic computation ties together the presentation of material from phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. The same theme is used to help students understand the place of linguistics in the broader context of the cognitive sciences, by drawing on examples from vision, audition, and even animal cognition. This textbook is unique in its integration of empirical issues of linguistic analysis, engagement with philosophical questions that arise in the study of language, and treatment of the history of the field. Topics ranging from allophony to reduplication, ergativity, and negative polarity are invoked to show the implications of findings in cognitive biolinguistics for philosophical issues like reference, the mind-body problem, and nature-nurture debates. This textbook contains numerous exercises and guides for further reading as well as ideas for student projects. A companion website with guidance for instructors and answers to the exercises features a series of pdf slide presentations to accompany the teaching of each topic.
 

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Contents

What is Ilanguage?
3
11 Jumping in
5
12 Equivalence classes
8
13 Partial reduplication in Samoan
9
14 Mentalism
12
15 Ilanguage
13
16 Some implications of mentalism
14
17 Summing up
15
76 To sum up
167
77 Exercises
168
Binding
170
81 Preliminaries
171
82 Anaphors
173
83 Pronouns and referential expressions
181
85 Binding and whmovement
182
86 Nonstructural factors in interpretation
187

18 Exercises
17
Ieverything Triangles streams words
20
22 More visual construction
25
23 Auditory scene analysis
27
24 Words are built by the mind
30
25 Summing up
33
Approaches to the study of language
36
31 Commonsense views of language
37
32 Ilanguage
39
33 The kind of stuff we look at
43
34 Methodological dualism
48
35 Biolinguistics
51
36 And so?
52
37 Exercises
53
IEPLanguage
55
42 Extensional equivalence
61
43 Noninternalist approaches
67
44 How is communication possible?
72
45 Exercises
75
Linguistic Representation and Computation
77
A syntactic theory that wont work
79
52 Finite state languages
87
53 Discussion
94
54 Power of grammars
97
55 Exercises
101
Abstract representations
103
62 Abstractness of sentence structure
104
63 Allophony
109
64 Turkish vowel harmony
114
65 Words are not derived from words
125
66 Think negative
127
67 Summing up
131
68 Exercises
132
Some details of sentence structure
136
72 Syntactic constituents
139
73 Labels and phrasal categories
144
74 Predicting syntactic patterns
154
75 Using trees to predict reaction times
164
87 Exercises
189
Ergativity
192
91 Preliminaries
194
92 A nominativeaccusative system
197
93 An ergativeabsolutive system
198
94 A tensesplit system
201
95 A nominalverbal mismatch
202
96 A NPsplit system
203
97 Language thought and culture
206
98 Exercises
207
Universal Grammar
213
Approaches to UG Empirical evidence
215
101 On the plausibility of innate knowledge
216
102 More negative thoughts
221
103 Exercises
233
Approaches to UG Logic
235
111 Lets play cards
238
112 Where does this leave us?
245
113 Building blocks in other domains
247
114 Exercises
248
Implications and Conclusions
251
Social implications
253
122 Negation
254
123 Change is constant
256
124 Exercises
262
Some philosophy
265
132 Competence and performance
271
133 Reference
277
134 Essentialism
282
135 Mind and body
286
136 A view from neuroscience
291
137 Exercises
298
Open questions and closing remarks
300
142 Retracing the links among key isms
304
143 Bearing on philosophical questions
306
References
311
Index
315
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About the author (2008)

Daniela Isac is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at Concordia University. She has taught at the University of Bucharest and held research fellowships at the universities of Oxford and Quebec. Her published work includes articles in Revue Roumaine de Linguistique and Linguistic Inquiry. Charles Reiss is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Concordia University, Montreal, co-editor with Gillian Ramchand of The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Interfaces (OUP 2007), and co-author with Mark Hale of The Phonological Enterprise (OUP 2008).

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