(2) Experience, which leads to variation, within a fairly narrow range, as in thecase of other subsystems of the human capacity and the organism generally.(3) Principles not specific to the faculty of language.The third factor includes principles of structural architecture that restrictoutcomes, including principles of efficient computation, which would beexpected to be of particular significance for computational systems such aslanguage, determining the general character of attainable languages.The book of Lyle Jenkins
Exploring the Biology of Language
investigates thenature of human language and its importance for the study of the mind. In particular, it examines current work on the biology of language. Lyle Jenkinsreviews the evidence that language is best characterized by a generativegrammar of the kind introduced by Noam Chomsky in the 1950s and developedin various directions since that time. He then discusses research into thedevelopment of language which tries to capture both the underlying universalityof human language, as well as the diversity found in individual languages(Universal Grammar). He also discusses a variety of approaches to languagedesign and the evolution of language. An important theme is the integration of biolinguistics into the natural sciences – the “unification problem”. Jenkins alsoanswers criticisms of the biolinguistic approach from a number of other perspectives, including evolutionary psychology, cognitive science,connectionism and ape language research, among others.
is an artificial or natural languageused as an intermediarylanguage for translation. Using a pivot language avoids thecombinatorialexplosionof having translators across every combination of the supportedlanguages. The disadvantage of a pivot language is that each step of retranslation introduces possible mistakes and ambiguities. For example, whenHernán Cortéscommunicated with Mesoamerican Indians, he would talk Spanish to Jerónimo de Aguilar who would talk Mayan to Malintzin who wouldtalk Nahuatlto the locals.
Language change and evolution
Languages change, usually very slowly, sometimes very rapidly. There aremany reasons a language might change. One obvious reason is interaction withother languages. For example, if one tribe of people trades with another, theywill pick up specific words and phrases for trade objects, for example. If a small but powerful tribe subdues a larger one, we find that the language of the eliteoften shows the influence of constant interaction with the majority, while themajority language imports vocabulary and speaking styles from the elitelanguage.T
he Pro-drop parameter
In the book
ond Language Learning and Language Teaching
the Role of Grammar in Language Teaching. “
Grammar hashad a bad press for many years. To many people, it is the boring subject done at