Title: How (not) to approach the twin problems of language acquisition and evolution
Speaker: Cedric Boeckx (ICREA)
Linguists of a particular theoretical persuasion began to turn their attention to the problem of language evolution, claiming to have “solved” the problem of language acquisition. In the first part of the talk I will show that this approach (epitomized in Berwick and Chomsky’s “book “Why Only Us”) is mistaken. In the second part of the talk I will provide evidence that an alternative approach, which engages with other disciplines, is much more fruitful. If correct, the case I will make raises interesting questions for the future of (theoretical) linguistics, and I plan to touch on some of these at the end of the talk, and hopefully during the question period.