Commentary

The brain plus the cultural transmission mechanism determine the nature of language

Citation

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

Abstract
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.

Journal
Behavioral and Brain Sciences: Volume 31, Issue 5

StatusPublished
Publication date31/10/2008
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/7319
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN0140-525X
Item discussedMH Christiansen and N Chater,"Language as shaped by the brain", Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (2008) Vol.31, pp.489–558.