NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1127527
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Language Reflects "Core" Cognition: A New Theory about the Origin of Cross-Linguistic Regularities
Strickland, Brent
Cognitive Science, v41 n1 p70-101 Jan 2017
The underlying structures that are common to the world's languages bear an intriguing connection with early emerging forms of "core knowledge" (Spelke & Kinzler, 2007), which are frequently studied by infant researchers. In particular, grammatical systems often incorporate distinctions (e.g., the mass/count distinction) that reflect those made in core knowledge (e.g., the non-verbal distinction between an object and a substance). Here, I argue that this connection occurs because non-verbal core knowledge systematically biases processes of language evolution. This account potentially explains a wide range of cross-linguistic grammatical phenomena that currently lack an adequate explanation. Second, I suggest that developmental researchers and cognitive scientists interested in (non-verbal) knowledge representation can exploit this connection to language by using observations about cross-linguistic grammatical tendencies to inspire hypotheses about core knowledge.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A