Language in Cognition: Uncovering Mental Structures and the Rules Behind Them / Edition 1

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The study of human language as a biological object is in many respects a perfect instrument for understanding cognitive science. As linguistics becomes increasingly integrated in the cognitive sciences, we need answers to such questions as: how do the core properties of language compare with the core properties of other human cognitive abilities such as vision, music, mathematics, and other mental building blocks; and what is the relationship between language and thought? Language in Cognition guides undergraduate students through these key questions.

By focusing on the study of language and how language informs the structure and function of the human mind, this much-needed textbook offers a point of entry into the fascinating territory of cognitive science, including its history and controversies. It contains a comprehensive study guide as well as extensive references to encourage further independent study and to structure learning. Focusing mainly on syntactic issues, Language in Cognition is a unique contribution to this burgeoning field of study.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Amongst the book's strengths, particularly commendable are the connections made to other cognitive domains and the biological sciences." (The Linguist, July 2010)

"Although each subsection is brief, the author includes chapter-by-chapter notes of cited material at the end of the text. The motivated reader will have no trouble tracking down the primary sources that the author discusses." (PsycCRITIQUES, March 2010)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405158817
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Cedric Boeckx is Research Professor at the Catalan Institute for Advanced Studies (ICREA), and a member of the Center for Theoretical Linguistics at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Most recently he was Associate Professor of Linguistics at Harvard University. He is the author of Islands and Chains (2003), Linguistic Minimalism (2006), Understanding Minimalist Syntax (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), and Bare Syntax (2008); and the founding co-editor, with Kleanthes K. Grohmann, of the Open Access journal Biolinguistics.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

Prologue XI

Part I Ever Since Chomsky 1

1 Mind Matters: Chomsky's Dangerous Idea 3

2 The Mechanization of the Mind Picture 14

3 How the Mind Grows: from Meno to Noam 41

Part II Unweaving the Sentence 55

4 Mental Chemistry 57

5 The Variety of Linguistic Experience: The Towers of Babel and Pisa 82

6 All Roads Lead to Universal Grammar 95

Part III The Mental Foundations of Behavior 109

7 Making Sense of Meaning: An Instruction Manual 111

8 Wonderful Mental Life: Unthinkable without Language 120

9 Grammar Caught in the Act 133

Part IV Missing Links 147

10 The (Mis)Measure of Mind 149

11 Homo Combinans 163

12 Computational Organology 173

Epilogue 183

Notes 189

Guide to Further Study 211

References 219

Index 242

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