Language at the Interface
515 West Hastings Street
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Serious and detailed proposals concerning the relationship between language and thought---or, as it might be put today, the language-cognition interface---have recently emerged within the cognitive sciences.Within linguistics, for example, a program of research broadly known as the "Minimalist Program" is underway whose guiding assumption is that the computational system of language is only as complex as it needs to be to meet the demands of the cognitive system it interacts with, making it crucially important for the study of language to have some understanding of what these cognitive systems are like. WIthin psychology, a complementary research program concerns the relationship between language and our core cognitive systems. This program investigates how language is implicated in the emergence of distinctively human representations that cut across these core systems (i.e., domain general representations), making it crucially important for these investigators to have some understanding of what language is like such that it can be recruited to this task. These programs illustrate the way that serious thinking about the language-cognition interface is rapidly changing the sorts of questions we can ask about the nature of distinctively human thought.
The aim of our three-day conference is to explore a wide range of questions at the intersection of linguistics, psychology, and philosophy that might be raised in connection with these and other lines of research into the place of language in the architecture of the mind.
April 22, 2015, 10:00pm PST
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