Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona

Biolinguistics Initiative Barcelona: March 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

BIB news

We congratulate BIB members Anna Martínez-Álvarez and Pedro Tiago Martins on the event of receiving different research grants:

Anna Martínez-Álvarez received an UB-Fundació Bosch i Gimpera grant awarded by European Research Council (PI: Ruth de Diego Balaguer) and joined the "Cognition and Brain Plasticity Group" (Ruth de Diego Balaguer) and the "Attention, Perception and Acquisition of Language Group" (Ferran Pons).

Pedro Tiago Martins received a Student Support Grant from AGAUR (Generalitat de Catalunya) and a part-time Research Grant from the Fundació Bosch i Gimpera (Logodiversity project, PI: Cedric Boeckx).

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Talk -- Nathalie Gontier

On Friday, March 22, at 15.00, Nathalie Gontier (Lisbon Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab, University of Lisbon) will give a talk on "Applied Evolutionary Epistemology and the Evolution of Language". 

Abstract: Today, the evolution of language is studied from within a variety of non-linguistic disciplines such as evolutionary biology, genetics, neurology, psychology, primatology, artificial intelligence etc. These different research fields all use their own scientific methodologies, such as fMRI studies, genetic sequencing analyses, population dynamics etc., to investigate certain aspects of language evolution. Fruitful as these methodologies and techniques might be, in themselves they cannot provide us with the tools to build adequate and interdisciplinary theories on how language evolved. In this talk, a general and overarching methodology is introduced that allows us to combine the different data provided by the variety of disciplines involved in evolutionary linguistics in order to build general theories on language evolution. This methodology takes the study of life as conducted by biologists and evolutionary epistemologists as exemplar. In biology and evolutionary epistemology, the evolution of life is studied by examining the units that evolve, the levels where these units evolve and the evolutionary mechanisms by which they evolve. The Modern Synthesis for example argues that organisms evolve in the environment by means of natural selection. By analogy, we can also look for the units, levels and mechanisms involved in language evolution. A methodology will be provided that describes how we can examine the current date on language evolution for its status of being either a unit, level or mechanism of language evolution, and how such identification allows us to build a general picture of how language evolved.

The meeting place will be the Gabriel Oliver Room, -1 floor, Edifici Josep Carner, UB. Feel free to spread the word to anyone interested!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Talk -- Denis Bouchard

On Monday, March 11, at 18.00, Denis Bouchard (Université du Québec à Montréal) will give a talk on "The Nature and Origin of Language". 

The meeting place will be the Sala de Professors, 5th floor, Edifici Josep Carner, UB. Feel free to spread the word to anyone interested!