Still a bridge too far? Biolinguistic questions for grounding language on brains

Massi Piattelli-Palmarini, Juan Uriagereka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this paper we discuss how Fibonacci growth patterns are apparent in the structure of human language. We moreover show how familiar dynamics yielding these sorts of patterns in nature may be taken to apply, at some level of abstraction, for the human faculty of language. The overall picture casts doubts on any simplistic treatment of language behavior, of the sort stemming from classical behaviorism in psychology (which is again popular in contemporary computational models). Instead, it appears to be more profitable to study language as a complex dynamic system, emerging in human brains for physical reasons which are yet to be fully comprehended, but which in the end disfavor any dualistic approach to the study of mind in general, and the human mind in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-224
Number of pages18
JournalPhysics of Life Reviews
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

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Electric grounding
brain
Brain
Dynamical systems
Language
Behaviorism
psychology
casts
emerging
Psychology
Growth
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Complexity
  • Fibonacci
  • Language
  • Structure
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Artificial Intelligence

Cite this

Still a bridge too far? Biolinguistic questions for grounding language on brains. / Piattelli-Palmarini, Massi; Uriagereka, Juan.

In: Physics of Life Reviews, Vol. 5, No. 4, 12.2008, p. 207-224.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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