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Songs to syntax : cognition, computation, and the origin of language.

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dc.contributor.author Berwick, Robert C.
dc.date 2013-03-04
dc.date.accessioned 2013-04-05T16:07:03Z
dc.date.available 2013-04-05T16:07:03Z
dc.date.issued 2013-03-04
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2246/6425
dc.description 65 minutes en_US
dc.description.abstract MIT Professor Robert Berwick discusses the evolution of human language and specifically how underlying syntax arose via the introduction of a single, surprisingly simple operation that "glues" words and sentence parts together. The relation of this simple syntax to human sensory-motor and thought systems reveals language to be asymmetric in design. While it precisely matches the representations required for inner mental thought, it also poses computational difficulties for understanding sentences, as everyday experience demonstrates. Despite this mismatch, one can show that syntax leads directly to the rich cognitive array that marks us as a symbolic species, including mathematics, music, etc. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship American Museum of Natural History. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries James Arthur lecture on the evolution of the human brain, 2013. en_US
dc.subject Language--Origin. en_US
dc.subject Syntax. en_US
dc.subject Animal sounds. en_US
dc.title Songs to syntax : cognition, computation, and the origin of language. en_US
dc.type Recording, oral en_US


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  • James Arthur Lecture on the Evolution of the Human Brain
    Early in the 20th century, James Arthur became associated with the AMNH. His fascination with the human brain led to his bequest to the AMNH permitting the establishment of the James Arthur Lectures on the Evolution of the Human Brain. The first lecture was given March 15, 1932.

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