This book presents a state-of-the-art account of what we know and would like to know about language, mind, and brain. Chapters by leading researchers in linguistics, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, cognitive neuroscience, comparative cognitive psychology, and evolutionary biology are framed by an introduction and conclusion by Noam Chomsky, who places the biolinguistic enterprise in an historical context and helps define its agenda for the future.
The questions explored include:
What is our tacit knowledge of language? What is the faculty of language? How does it develop in the individual? How is that knowledge put to use? How is it implemented in the brain? How did that knowledge emerge in the species?
The book includes the contributor's key discussions, which dramatically bring to life their enthusiasm for the enterprise and skill in communicating across disciplines. Everyone seriously interested in how language works and why it works the way it does are certain to find, if not all the answers, then a convincing, productive, and lively approach to the endeavour.
Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini is Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona. He has held teaching and research positions at the Scientific Institute San Raffaele, MIT, the College de France, Rutgers University, Harvard University, the University of Maryland and the University of Bologna. His publications include Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule our Minds, Choix, decisions et preferences: Quatre lecons au College de France, L'illusione di sapere, and L'arte di persuadere (Mondadori 1993, 1995). Pello Salaburu is Professor of Basque Philology at the University of the Basque Country where he was President 1996-2000 and Vice President 1992-1996. He is Chair of the Grammar Commission of Euskaltzaindia (Royal Academy of the Basque Language), and a co-editor and co-author of Euskal Gramatika. Lehen Urratsak. Juan Uriagereka is Professor of Linguistics, University of Maryland. His books include Syntactic Anchors (CUP 2006), Derivations and Rhyme and Reason.