Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona

Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona: March 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Evolang9 reactions

As promised, here are some post-Evolang9 reactions:

-Evolang coverage at "a replicated typo"
-Interviews conducted by BiB members Celia and Oriol (of Sintaxi de Butxaca fame)

Boeckx MA course reminder

Quick reminder to anyone interested: shortly after the Easter break, Boeckx will be offering an Advanced Issues course in the Language & Cognitive Science MA program.
Visitors are welcome. Here is a brief description of the course:

Advanced Issues in Cognitive Science and Language (April 2012)
Meeting times: April 16, 18, 20; 11h00-13h00; Ed. Josep Carner, 5th floor.
Cedric Boeckx
This 3-day course will focus on an emerging field in cognitive science that David Poeppel has aptly called "computational organology", a research area that seeks to combine insights from a variety of disciplines to shed light on 'mental organs' such as language.
The notion of computation will be at the center of our discussion, and I will assume that students are familiar with the basics of what 'computation' is.
The specific lists of topics covered will depend, in part, on who takes the class for credit, and the shape of the final assignment will be determined accordingly. As preparation for the class, I would like students (registered or not) to take a careful look at the following two essays:
1. "How the Zebra Gets Its Stripes" (Chapter 29).In Gould, S. J. (1983) Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes: Further Reflections in Natural History. New York: W. W. Norton and Company. [You can find this article in many other anthologies and collections of essays by Gould.]
2. "Computing the organism", by R. Lewontin. Natural History, April issue, 2000.

Students eager to read more before class may find a lot of relevant material in
A. "Evolution --- the Extended Synthesis", by Massimo Pigliucci and Gerd B. Müller. 2010. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.
and also in
B."Developmental plasticity and evolution" by Mary Jane West-Eberhard. 2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Both readings are highly recommended.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Back from Evolang9

Members of the Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona are back from Kyoto, where we took part in the Kyoto Conference on Biolinguistics and Evolang9. Reports of the events will be posted soon. In the meantime, here's a picture of us reflecting on the evolution of human language:

PS: For long flights to/from Japan, we recommend the following reading (just published):

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fifth seminar, Silvia Martínez Ferreiro

On March 26, at 17h30, Silvia Martínez Ferreiro (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and a member of our group) will be giving a seminar on the informativeness of Broca's aphasia for theoretical linguistics, as evidenced by psych verbs. The talk will take place at the University of Barcelona, in a room to be announced via our mailing list.