If Your Language was a Car: - The Object(s) of Linguistic Research, or: Towards a Shared Geography of Linguistics

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The article suggests that there are underexplored possibilities for fruitful communication between formal and
functionalist linguistics. A key issue is the question of exactly what each approach is aiming to capture about language.
This is especially relevant for understanding the status of claims about autonomy. The role of distributional regularities
and their precise relations with semantic motivation is argued to be a shared problem that could fruitfully be addressed
from both sides of the divide – and the role of niche construction as a dimension of evolutionary theory is put forward
as providing a new take on the innateness debate. Torben Thrane’s work is discussed as an illustration example.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHermes - Journal of Language and Communication Studies
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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ID: 35070182