Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona

Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona: February 2012

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Boeckx seminar rescheduled

In anticipation of the strike at the Universitat de Barcelona planned for Feb 29, we have decided to reschedule Boeckx's seminar to Friday, March 2, at 17h30 (ed. Josep Carner). Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Friday, February 17, 2012

new paper/Boeckx

New paper on the nature of "logodiversity" by Cedric Boeckx.


BIB member Cedric Boeckx will be giving a talk on Wednesday 29, at 17h30 (Ed. Josep Carner). The title of the talk is "BOLT: A Biology-Oriented Linguistic Theory". Students of the CCiL Masters are especially encouraged to attend, as the presentation will form the basis of the Advanced Issues course Boeckx will teach in April.

Practice talk, Rossello, Borrega, Alba

BIB members Joana Rossello, Oriol Borrega, and Celia Alba will be giving a practice talk on Monday February 27, at 17.30 (Ed. Josep Carner). The topic of the talk is "No Words Without Syntax, No Syntax Without Words", which they will present at Evolang/Kyoto next month.

MA course/Boeckx

As part of the Masters in Linguistics and Cognitive science, Cedric Boeckx will be teaching a 3-day  "Advanced issues" seminar. The topic will be 'computation', and specifically 'computational organology'. Visitors are welcome.
Time: Mon./Wed./Fri 11-13h00; April 16, 18, 20.
Place: 5th floor, Josep Carner Building

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Call for Posters

In search of new ways to understand language variation, change and acquisition From its inception, generative grammar centered on the descriptive and explanatory adequacy of the attained steady state in language learning but it also put at the center of the research agenda the explanation of "Plato's problem" (how come we acquire knowledge without explicit evidence or teaching). Thus, learnability was put and it used to be at the forefront of research in generative grammar in the early 1980s, with profound research on the Language Acquisition Device, Poverty of Stimulus, Universal Grammar, and the parametric options that it was open to (cf. Piattelli-Palmarini (1980), Lightfoot (1982)). However, we feel that the answer that the Principles and Parameters theory was providing to Plato's Problem is not satisfying anymore. The notion of parameter has been deeply discussed and even more, lately the availability of UG itself has been disputed in other traditions (cf., i.a. Elman et al. (1996), Clark & Lappin (2011)). Thus, we feel that after two decades in the background, learnability ought to make a come back in linguistic theorizing, and generative grammarians ought to take advantage of findings in other fields and linguistic traditions to rethink Plato's problem in a broader biolinguistic context. With this goal in mind, we have organized a Summer Course that will address these issues with different points of view. Thus, the general goal of this course is to revisit the nature of Universal Grammar and the role of language learning strategies in shaping the acquired language, linguistic diversity and language change. Teachers/Presenters will include:
− Cedric Boeckx (ICREA/UB)
− Jennifer Culbertson (University of Rochester)
− Judit Gervain (CNRS/LPP)
− Aritz Irurtzun (CNRS/Iker)
− Guillermo Lorenzo (University of Oviedo)
− Kenny Smith (University of Edinburgh)
In addition to these speakers, we would like to invite anyone interested to submit an abstract for a dedicated poster session on any aspect of learnability and language variation that they are working on. We welcome contributions in language variation, language change, theoretical and empirical works on acquisition and learnability, pattern recognition, phonological bootstraping, etc. Submission Guidelines:
Abstracts are invited for a poster session. As reviewing will be double-blind, abstracts should be anonymous; author's information should be submitted in the accompanying e-mail. Please send your abstract (PDF format, two pages, including references and using a 12 pt. font type) to the co-organizers (cedric.boeckx["@"] and aritz.irurtzun["@"]
Important Dates: Deadline for abstract submission: March 20, 2012 Notification of acceptance: Early April, 2012 Workshop: June 25 - 26, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Video interview on (Cartesian) Biolinguistics: Boeckx and Saldaña Gascon

Here is the link:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Debate Boeckx/Steels

On March 6, at 18h00, Cedric Boeckx (ICREA/UB) and Luc Steels (ICREA/UPF) will take part in a (friendly) debate on "the origins of language" at the ICREA building in Barcelona. As seating will be limited, please email C. Boeckx in advance if you are planning to attend.

Third seminar, G. Bel

On March 5, at 17h00, Gemma Bel (Tarragona/Marseille, and an external collaborator of our group) will be giving a seminar on "linguistics and biology: a long way together". The talk will take place in the Josep Carner Building of the UB (Aribau/Gran Via). The room will be announced on the ground floor of the building.

Second seminar, R. Santiago

On Feb. 20, at 17h00, Raquel Santiago (UPF) will be giving a seminar on "Aphasia in deaf signers". The talk will take place in the Josep Carner Building of the UB (Aribau/Gran Via). The room will be announced on the ground floor of the building.

First seminar of 2012: R. de Diego Balaguer

On February 13, at 17.00, Ruth de Diego Balaguer (ICREA/Universitat de Barcelona) will be giving a seminar on "Subcortical structures and pathways involved in the earliest stages of language acquisition".
The talk will take place in the Josep Carner Building of the UB (Aribau/Gran Via). The room will be announced on the ground floor of the building.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

ICREA International Symposium on Biolinguistics

Thanks to the generous support of ICREA, our group will be organizing an International Symposium on Biolinguistics at the Universitat de Barcelona on October 1-3, 2012 (Aula Magna of the historic building of UB on Gran Via). Information regarding the list of invited speakers and also regarding options for participants to present their own works as posters will be posted here in the very near future. In the meantime, please mark your calendar, and plan on joining us.

Course on Biolinguistics, Spring 2012 (2nd post)

To anyone interested in attending the course on Biolinguistics offered by J. Rosselló: the first class will be this Monday, Feb 6, at 8.30am, and will take place in the Josep Carner building of the UB (Aribau/Gran Via), room 1.5.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Post-doctoral position

Our Biolinguistics group may have the possibility of sponsoring a 2-year post-doctoral position (applications due at the end of February, 2012). Requirements are: having a PhD in hand (defended by the end of December 2010) and having completed a one year post-doctoral stay since the PhD. If interested in pursuing research on biolinguistics, please contact us asap at <[@]>.