BS 144 is an interview with Dr. Angela Friederici, author of Language in Our Brain: The Origins of a Uniquely Human Capacity. This is an extensive review of several decades of research, but this interview makes the field accessible to listeners of all backgrounds.Read More
Episode 41 of the Brain Science Podcast is an interview with Alice Gaby, PhD, from the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Gaby is a linguist who studies the role of language in cognition as well as the aboriginal languages of Australia . In this episode, Dr. Gaby introduces some of the basic areas of linguistics. We also talk about why linguistics is important to understanding brain function, as well as the importance of interdisciplinary communication to advancement in both fields. Dr. Gaby's infectious enthusiasm makes this potentially intimidating subject accessible to everyone.
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Links and References:
Gaby, A. 2006. A Grammar of Kuuk Thaayorre. Unpublished PhD thesis. Melbourne: University of Melbourne. (download PDF)
Language: Its Structure and Use (5th edition) by Edward Finegan: introductory text recommended by Dr. Gaby.
The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language, by Steven Pinker: a good introduction for general readers.
Other scientists mentioned in the interview:
George Lakoff: UC-Berkeley.
Dan I. Slobin: emeritus professor, UC-Berkeley.
Lera Boroditsky of Stanford University.
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Send email feedback to Ginger Campbell, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode 30 of the Brain Science Podcast is a discussion of The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language, by Christine Kenneally. We focus mostly on the first part of the book, which tells the story of how the study of language evolution has grown from almost a banned subject to a new field of inquiry called evolutionary linguistics. We also reflect on how recent findings in neuroscience like the importance of plasticity are influencing the field.
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Scientists discussed in the Episode:
- Noam Chomsky.
- Sue Savage-Rumbaugh.
- Stuart Shanker: Brain Science Podcast #7: Interview about bonobos.
- see also Brain Science Podcast #6: Discussion of The First Idea.
- Steven Pinker and Paul Bloom.
- Philip Leiberman.
- Pinker, Steven, and Paul Bloom, "Natural Language and Natural Selection," Behavioral and Brains Sciences 13 (1990): 707-84.
- Marc D. Hauser, Noam Chomsky, and W. Tecumseh Fitch (2002). "The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve?" Science 298:1569-1579.
- Christine Kenneally, The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language (2007).
- Stanley I. Greenspan and Stuart G. Shanker, The First Idea: How Symbols, Language, and Intelligence Evolved from our Primate Ancestors to Modern Humans (2004).
*Additional references can be found in Kenneally's book and at the websites of the scientists listed above. Also, be sure to check out Kenneally's blog for follow-up information.
I just listened to the February 6, episode of Science Talk, the podcast from Scientific American. Steve Mirsky talks with linguist Alice Gaby, from the University of California-Berkeley, about the relationship between language, culture, cognition and perception. This is very relevant to Episode 30 of the Brain Science Podcast (due out on February 8), which is about the evolution of language.