StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Language Evolution and Syntactic Theory - Essay Example

Not dowloaded yet

Extract of sample
Language Evolution and Syntactic Theory

Category one and two combine when considering that the "universal characteristics of language may be so because they are aspects that make it more easily acquirable."2
The evolutionary nature of language is a new category of investigation that attempts to determine what occurred in our ancestral lineage that gave rise to a form of communication that is distinct from other species. This category involves genetics, paleontology, and archaeology.
However, whereas these studies benefit from a rich fossil record, evolutionary linguistics suffers from a lack of evidence. To overcome these shortcomings, linguists often make use of studies in the four categories already discussed.
However, Kinsella's research is unique in that it will not rely on the four categories. Instead, she utilizes evidence from evolutionary studies that will shed a critical light on the theory of linguistics.
The essential argument Kinsella makes is that this research is a step in developing a more unified theory of linguistics. This is much like psycholinguistics or neurolinguistics before it, which incorporate diverse disciplines in founding new conclusions.
Kinsella frames the current discussion on language within syntactic theory. She criticizes these theories for relying on theories that are based only in linguistics and don't incorporate multi-disciplinary perspectives in their analysis.
She contends that syntactic theory needs to be critiqued not merely as a means of recording observable data. In addition, syntactic theory must also be critiqued as a theory of language that must be consistent with theories in other fields.
While she acknowledges that there are many competing syntactic theories, the research focuses on the Minimalist Program and contrasts it with theories in evolutionary biology to test its validity. It's notable that the analysis focuses the validity of the linguistic side and not the biological side.
This seems to be due to the foundational role evolutionary biology plays in the Minimalist Program. Also, there is a continued view of linguistic philosophy as a 'soft' science.
Kinsella is vague in distinguishing the exact specifications of the Minimalist Program. She writes that, "...syntactic theory tells usthat the grammatical structure of language is the mediator between signal and meaning"3 and references Chomsky as privileging the internal aspects of language over the external.
While she discusses the MP's emphasis on creativity within syntactic structures, it seems that she is ultimately positioning it as a strongly internal theory of languag ...Show more

Summary

In the opening section Language Evolution and Syntactic Theory, Anna Kinsella begins by contextualizing the study of evolutionary linguistics. She discusses language as an essential element of being human and identifies as one of the essential questions of linguistics, "why [is] languagean ability specific to our species"1
Author : jocelynkreiger
Language Evolution and Syntactic Theory essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Language Evolution and Syntactic Theory"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Related Essays

English compounding phenomena: morphological vs. syntactic
All living things communicate in some form. Communication does not mean spoken language, but can also include written, hand signs, or grunts and chirps. Although humans are born with the ability to learn multiple languages, the reality is that individuals know at least one language, and can understand that one language.
16 pages (4000 words) Essay
Evolution
It is this paper’s position that the human race came about as they are now through the process of evolution. The author believes that living organisms today evolved through the process of natural selection and this has been the key to the survival of living things on earth.
5 pages (1250 words) Essay
Parsons Theory of Evolution
Parsons’ Theory of Evolution Essay Question: Outline and discuss the role and importance of ‘differentiation’ and ‘specialization’ in Parsons’ theory of the evolution of ‘modern society’. Student Number: Introduction Parsons’ evolution theory holds that the primary disposition of modern society is marked by the escalated development of differentiation within sociological system as a means of grappling with the multifaceted nature of the current world.
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Potential Possibilities and the Limitations Involved in Formal Theories of Quantification for Natural Language
There are also many who would give reason to apply these limiters that quantify natural language. Although, there are potential possibilities for such formulation, there has been no entirely feasible method created. The theories and theorems that are involved in quantifying language fail to provide us a limitless and potentially useable formula for quantification regardless of their complexity and their rationale supporting it.
11 pages (2750 words) Essay
The Evolution Theory: Lamarck vs. Darwin
Jean Baptiste Lamarck was among the earliest researchers to develop the theory of evolution. According to his observations in the said field, every organism was believed to have adapted to its environment, which took place over a long period of time.
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Mind and Language
This paper aims to discuss the roles of the brain and mind to language development and transmissions, academic paradigms, theories, and perspectives behind the study of linguistics such as neurolinguistics and sociolinguistics, as well as the role of anthropological aspects including culture, environment, and geography.
9 pages (2250 words) Essay
ENGLISH LANGUAGE - Language in Theory and Practice
But since the law requires any formal assertion in an advertisement to be substantiated or risk suit for misrepresentation, advertisers naturally tend to moderate these claims while trying to persuade them to buy. Thus, advertisements are designed
8 pages (2000 words) Essay
Darwins theory of evolution
Darwins theory of evolution proposes that all life on Earth is related to each other and has all descended from a common ancestor. The reason for the
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Evolution of English Language
Without language, it is believed that a person’s self would be condemned to isolation and silence; language allows the expression of one’s innermost feelings, thoughts or dreams to another thereby forging a connection between two otherwise remote
2 pages (500 words) Essay
The Language of txting: is it language in evolution or language in deterioration
A linguistic analysis of the language in texting reveals that is highly phonetic (Crystal 2001, p. 58). Therefore, a continued use of this form of language has led to more phonetic terms currently used in texting. A critical view of the effect of the texting language
1 pages (250 words) Essay
Get a custom paper written
by a pro under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
YOUR PRIZE:
Apply my DISCOUNT
Comments (0)
Rate this paper:
Thank you! Your comment has been sent and will be posted after moderation