A conceptuocentric shift in the characterization of language

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):674-675 (2003)

Abstract

Recognizing limitations of the “syntactocentric” perspective, Jackendoff proposes a model in which phonology, syntax, and conceptual systems are each independently combinatorial. We can ask, however, whether he has taken this issue to its logical conclusion. The fundamental question that is not fully addressed is whether the combinatorial aspect of syntax originated in, and derives from, the indeed “far richer” conceptual system, a question to be discussed.

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