UIC TiL: Brady Clark

UIC Talks in Linguistics invite you to the next TiL this Friday the 13th.

Brady Clark from Northwester will be leading the talk entitled ‘Syntactic theory and the evolution of syntax’

As always, the talk will take place at UH 1750 at 3pm.

Again, this Friday April 13 at 3pm.

Here is an abstract of the talk,

Brady Clark
Northwestern University

Contemporary work on the evolution of syntax can be roughly divided into
two perspectives, the incremental view and the saltational view. The
incremental view claims that the evolution of syntax involved multiple
stages between the noncombinatorial communication system of our last
common ancestor with chimpanzees and full-blown modern human syntax. The
saltational view claims that syntax was the result of just a single
evolutionary development. What is the relationship between contemporary
theories of syntax and these two perspectives on the evolution of syntax?
Jackendoff (2010) argues that there is a dependency between theories of
language and theories of language evolution: “Your theory of language
evolution depends on your theory of language.” For example, he claims that
most work within the Minimalist Program (for background, Chomsky 1995) is
forced to the saltational view. My focus in this talk is the evolution of
syntax, and, in particular, the relation between syntactic theory and
perspectives on the evolution of syntax. I argue that there is not a
simple dependency relation between theories of syntax and theories of
syntactic evolution. The parallel architecture (Jackendoff 2002) is
consistent with a saltational theory of syntactic evolution. The
architecture assumed in most minimalist work is compatible with an
incremental theory.

See you there!


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