Language Faculty and Biolinguistics

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This paper is to explain the nature and principles of the language faculty from the evolutionary perspective of biolinguistics. Biolinguistics examines a component of human biology that enters into the use and acquisition of language: the faculty of language. The language faculty, biologically endowed and distinct from other cognitive abilities, is regarded as the biological result of distinctive evolution within human brains. Our knowledge of language develops along a regular maturational path, that is, by growing. Accordingly, the study of the evolution of language is concerned with questions of design, development, and evolution of language in the Minimalist Program (MP). The MP provides the answers to these questions which are fundamental to the growth and evolution of organisms. In this paper, it is suggested that the growth of language can be described as the production of the optimal type of language. The notion of optimality in the MP is the internal mechanisms of Language faculty in the narrow sense. Thus, biolinguistic minimalism attempts to reduce the internal mechanism of Universal Grammar to the bare minimum including Merge. Recursion is the internal linguistic system of the human biological components. Hence, it is concluded that the recursive, unbounded application of Merge is the most fundamental computational operation of the language faculty. The origin and evolution of Merge is the core subject in language evolution.
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언어연구, v.27, no.2, pp.373 - 391

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HSS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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