Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona

Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona

Monday, June 30, 2014

Some BIB news

Apologies for the lack of recent posts. We were busy migrating the site to its new home.

In the past few days, we had the pleasure to welcome Antonio Benitez Burraco, Aritz Irurtzun and Maia Duguine for talks. We also want to belatedly congratulate Elizabeth for passing her PhD prospectus defense.

The new site is still under construction, so please email us if you spot mistakes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boeckx talk at Max Planck Institute (Leizig)

Cedric Boeckx will give a talk on June 19 at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig:

"The thalamus and the neurobiological infrastructure of the language-ready brain"
Abstract: Building on considerations and proposals developed in Boeckx 2013 and Boeckx and Benitez-Burraco 2014, this talk will focus on offering concrete proposals concerning the neurological substrates of some aspects of the human language faculty. I will begin by reviewing evidence for a mosaic-like organization of the language faculty, and then turn to the roles that the thalamus might play in making our brain language-ready. The talk will in part be a plea to take subcortical structures into account in an attempt to offer an adequate neurobiological account of components of language, specifically those that make human cognition distinct.
Boeckx, C. 2013. Biolinguistics: Forays into Human Cognitive Biology. Journal of Anthropological Sciences 91:63–89. 
Boeckx, C, and Benitez-Burraco, A. 2014. The shape of the language- ready brain. Frontiers in Psychology 5:282.
This event will take place at MPI's Department of Neuropsychology (Wilhelm Wundt Room), at 11pm.

More information here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Recently in the headlines

Review of Cambridge Handbook of Biolinguistics

I just came across an excellent reflection on (current) biolinguistics, in the form of a review of the Cambridge Handbook of Biolinguistics I co-edited, written by Rob Truswell for Lingua. I feel that Rob captured well some of the considerations and criteria that I adopted while preparing the volume, and I could not have expressed them better than he did. Rob highlighted some of the major challenges of this (re-)emerging field, and also why it can generate both excitement and frustration. I encourage everyone to read it.
(C. Boeckx)

Link here

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Publication news

A new volume, "The Evolution of Social Communication in Primates", edited by Nathalie Gontier and Marco Pina, has a chapter by Boeckx:

What Can an Extended Synthesis do for Biolinguistics: On the Needs and Benefits of Eco-Evo-Devo Program

and one by Benitez-Burraco and colleagues:

The Emergence of Modern Communication in Primates: A Computational Approach

Also just out in Frontiers in Psychology is a short paper by Boeckx and Fujita:

Syntax, Action, Comparative Cognitive Science and Darwinian Thinking

Monday, June 2, 2014

Boeckx & Leivada in Language Sciences

A new paper by Boeckx and Leivada, titled "On the particulars of Universal Grammar: implications for acquisition", is just out in the latest issue of Language Sciences. You can read the ahead-of-print version here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mark your calendar: Genevieve Konopka visit in June

Our group is delighted to announce that Genevieve Konopka, who played a prominent role in the discovery of the FOXP2 interactome, will be visiting us next month.

On Monday, June 16, at 4pm, she will be giving a talk, "Decoding the molecular evolution of cognition", in the Sala de Professores (Josep Carner building, 5th floor).

Attendance is free, as usual.

(If you are interested in joining us for the dinner following the talk, please tell us by email ( before noon on Monday, June 16.)