Biolinguistics/External Links

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A hand-picked, annotated list of Web resources about Biolinguistics.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner and consider archiving the URLs behind the links you provide. See also related web sources.
  • Biolinguistics.
    • "BIOLINGUISTICS is a peer-reviewed [open-access] journal exploring theoretical linguistics that takes the biological foundations of human language seriously. The Advisory Board and the Editorial Board are made up of leading scholars from all continents in the fields of theoretical linguistics, language acquisition, language change, theoretical biology, genetics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive psychology."
    • Recent articles:

Neural Basis of Recursion and Complex Syntactic Hierarchy. Angela Dorkas Friederici, Jörg Bahlmann, Roland Friedrich, Michiru Makuuchi.

Abstract: Language is a faculty specific to humans. It is characterized by hierarchical, recursive structures. The processing of hierarchically complex sentences is known to recruit Broca’s area. Comparisons across brain imaging studies investigating similar hierarchical structures in different domains revealed that complex hierarchical structures that mimic those of natural languages mainly activate Broca’s area, that is, left Brodmann area (BA) 44/45, whereas hierarchically structured mathematical formulae, moreover, strongly recruit more anteriorly located region BA 47. The present results call for a model of the prefrontal cortex assuming two systems of processing complex hierarchy: one system determined by cognitive control for which the posterior-to-anterior gradient applies active in the case of processing hierarchically structured mathematical formulae, and one system which is confined to the posterior parts of the prefrontal cortex processing complex syntactic hierarchies in language efficiently.

Brain-Language Research: Where is the Progress? Friedemann Pulvermüller

Abstract: Recent cognitive neuroscience research improved our understanding of where, when, how, and why language circuits emerge and activate in the human brain. Where: Regions crucial for very specific linguistic processes were delineated; phonetic features and fine semantic categories could be mapped onto specific sets of cortical areas. When: Brain correlates of phonological, syntactic and semantic processes were documented early-on, suggesting language understanding in an instant (within 250ms). How: New mechanistic network models mimicking structure and function of left-perisylvian language areas suggest that multimodal action-perception circuits — rather than separate modules for action and perception — carry the processing resources for language use and understanding. Why language circuits emerge in specific areas, become active at specific early time points and are connected in specific ways is best addressed in light of neuroscience principles governing neuronal activation, correlation learning, and, critical-ly, partly predetermined structural information wired into connections between cortical neurons and areas.

  • Oxford Studies in Biolinguistics. General editor: Cedric Boeck, ICREA & Centre de Lingüística Teòrica, UAB, Barcelona
    • "This new series offers a forum for original contributions in biolinguistics, an important new interdisciplinary field concerned with exploring the basic properties of the language faculty, how it matures in the individual, how it is put to use in thought and communication, what brain circuits implement it, and how it emerged in the human species. In asking these questions, biolinguists try to determine which components of the brain are unique to language, as opposed to shared with other cognitive domains such as music and mathematics, and especially those that also seem unique to humans. Contributions are likely to come from the following areas of research: linguistic computation, language development, language evolution, cognitive neuroscience, and genetics. In addition, the series welcomes contributions addressing philosophical and conceptual issues bearing on the nature of and methodologies in biolinguistics."