Center for Cognitive Science

The Puzzle of the Mind

Ray Jackendoff, Ph.D., Brandeis University
Mailing Lists

2005: Dedre Gentner

2004: E. Clark

2003 P. Johnson-Laird

2002: R. Jackendoff

2001: T. Deacon

2000: S. Palmer

1999: M. Posner

1998: M. Bowerman

1997: R. Schank

1996: J. Bruner

1995: D. Dennett

1994: N. Chomski

Distinguished Speaker Series 2002

Thursday, March 14, 2002:

3:30pm - 5:00pm, Slee Concert Hall,

North Campus

"Possible Stages in the Evolution
of the Language Faculty"

The human ability to learn language is a human cognitive specialization, encoded (in some unknown way) in our genes. The evident adaptivity of linguistic communication suggests that this capacity arose through natural selection. It is therefore a challenge for linguistics to find a plausible route by which the features of language could have evolved step by step. I will propose such a route, using evidence from child and adult language acquisition, from aphasia, from pidgin and creole languages, from "language"-trained apes, and from "fossils" of earlier forms of the language capacity still found in modern-day languages.

Ray Jackendoff is Professor of Linguistics at Brandeis University, where he has taught since 1971. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, President-Elect of the Linguistic Society of America, and past President of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. He is author of Semantics and Cognition, Languages of the Mind, Consciousness and the Computational Mind, and (with Fred Lerdahl) A Generative Theory of Tonal Music. His most recent book, Foundations of Language, is being published by Oxford University Press this winter.

Co-Sponsored by:
Department of Anthropology
Samuel P. Capen Chair of Anthropology
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Department of Linguistics
Department of Philosophy
English Language Institute
Geographic Information Science (IGERT)

Open to the Public. Free Admission.

Go to Spring 2002 calendar and printable versions



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Last updated on August 22, 2003 by H. Jones

The Center for Cognitive Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, 652 Baldy Hall, Buffalo, NY 14260
Phone: (716) 645-2177 ext. 717, Fax: (716) 645-3825

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