Smith K, Kirby S & Smith ADM (2008) The brain plus the cultural transmission mechanism determine the nature of language. Commentary on: MH Christiansen and N Chater,"Language as shaped by the brain", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (2008) Vol.31, pp.489–558.. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31 (5), pp. 533-534. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X08005244
We agree that language adapts to the brain, but we note that language also has to adapt to brain-external constraints, such as those arising from properties of the cultural transmission medium. The hypothesis that Christiansen & Chater (C&C) raise in the target article not only has profound consequences for our understanding of language, but also for our understanding of the biological evolution of the language faculty.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences: Volume 31, Issue 5
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Item discussed||MH Christiansen and N Chater,"Language as shaped by the brain", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (2008) Vol.31, pp.489–558.|