How Language Evolves

Event Dates: 
Feb 20, 2015 -
1:00pm to 5:30pm

This symposium addresses the question of how human language came to have the kind of structure it has, focusing on three sources of evidence: 1) ways languages get new structure not present in the language of the previous generation(s) of speakers or signers; 2) what contrasts between new and mature languages reveal about how language evolves; and 3) neuroscientific investigations of functional specialization for language in the human brain and its dependence on the linguistic input the language learner gets during cognitive development.

Event Sessions

Media for each talk can be played by clicking on icons in the "Media" column, or by clicking on the individual talk titles below and then the attachment file at the bottom of the page.

Date Media Session Title Speakers Location
Fri 2/20 File Welcome Pascal Gagneux UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Opening Remarks Roger Levy UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Language Evolution in the Lab: The Emergence of Design Features Simon Kirby UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Contact Languages and Light Warlpiri Carmel O'Shannessy UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Rethinking Recapitulation: Sources of Structure in Nicaraguan Sign Language Ann Senghas UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Co-emergence of Meaning and Structure in a New Language Mark Aronoff UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Combinatoriality within the Word: Sign Language Evidence David Perlmutter UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File What Can You Say without Syntax? Ray Jackendoff UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Specialization for Language in the Human Brain Evelina Fedorenko UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File How the Environment Shapes Language in the Brain Rachel Mayberry UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Neuroscience of Speech Perception and Speech Production Edward Chang UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium
Fri 2/20 File Wrap Up, Question and Answer, and Closing Remarks Fred Gage UCSD - Institute of the Americas; Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium