March 6th, 2012. 47th Icrea Colloquium: "The Origins of Language"

March 6th, 2012. 47th Icrea Colloquium: "The Origins of Language"

ICREA Research Professors, Dr. Luc Steels, from the Institut de Biologia Evolutiva (IBE) and Dr. Cedric Boeckx, from the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), will each give a talk with the title "The Origins of Language" at 47th ICREA Colloquium next 06 March 2012.



Speaker s

Luc Steels and Cedric Boeckx

ICREA Research Professors

Title : "The Origins of Language"

Abstract :

The origins and evolution of language is a fascinating problem which has so far defied a clear scientific explanation. Many disciplines are currently attacking this problem, not only linguistics but also anthropology, archeology, evolutionary biology and even robotics, which has recently produced experiments in which autonomous robots self-organize symbolic communication systems with language-like properties from scratch. Everybody agrees that social, cultural and biological evolution must all have conspired together to give us our unique human ability of language, but there is disagreement about their respective role. Are the regularities we observe in language the result of the innate biases implied by Universal Grammar, which would mean that genetics has been playing a major role? Or are they the result of cultural processes which push for the recruitment of generic cognitive capacities in the service of symbolic communication?

This joint presentation examines these two positions through concrete case studies in the realms of lexicon and grammar.

Date : March 6th, 2012

Time :  6 p.m.

Place : Auditorium of the FICSR building, Passeig Lluís Companys 23, 6th floor, Barcelona.
Attendance is by invitation only. If you want to attend  contact L. Steels