New paper published in Glossa on the ancient debate of whether language is optimally designed for cognition or communication.
Language design and communicative competence: The minimalist perspective
“In the Minimalist Program, the place of linguistic communication in language evolution and design is clear: It is assumed to be secondary to internalisation. I will defend this position against its critics, and maintain that natural selection played a more crucial role in selecting features of externalization and communication than in developing the computational system of language, following some core insights of Minimalism. The lack of communicative advantages to many core syntactic processes supports the Minimalist view of language use. Alongside the computational system, human language exhibits ostensive-inferential communication via open-ended combinatorial productivity, and I will explore how this system is compatible with – and does not preclude – a Minimalist model of the language system.”