Author Archives: murphyblog

New paper out in Glossa

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 … Continue reading

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Lenneberg and Brain Dynamics: Comments on Balari & Lorenzo (2017)

Sergio Balari and Guillermo Lorenzo have a paper in the current volume of Biolinguistics, which is dedicated to celebrating the 50th anniversary of Lenneberg’s Biological Foundations of Language. The paper includes a number of unusual claims about computational approaches to … Continue reading

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Recursion and Oscillations: Comments on Boeckx (2016) and Goucha et al. (2016)

Cedric Boeckx has a new paper out in the Journal of Neurolinguistics, “A conjecture about the neural basis of recursion in light of descent with modification”. The central thesis is summarised as follows: “I argue that the expansion of the … Continue reading

Posted in Linguistics | 4 Comments

New paper on pragmatic unarticulated constituents

New paper published in Biolinguistics on the nature of pragmatic unarticulated constituents and the syntax-semantics interface. “This paper explores the prospect that grammatical expressions are propositionally whole and psychologically plausible, leading to the explanatory burden being placed on syntax rather … Continue reading

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Rhythmic Syntax, Granularity, and Future of the Interdisciplinarian

Boeckx and Theofanopoulou (2015) today produced a commentary on ‘Labels, Cognomes and Cyclic Computation: An Ethological Perspective’ (Murphy 2015a; henceforth LCC). With care and instructive insights into the life sciences they expand the discussion of the computational capacities of non-humans, … Continue reading

Posted in Linguistics | 2 Comments

Real Methodological Naturalism: The Problem of Naturalism and the Limits of Inquiry

In a recent paper, ‘Naturalism without metaphysics’, philosopher John Collins notes that scientific naturalism does not have to be a metaphysical position, and in fact any serious naturalist must suppose that their metaphysics reaches only as far as their theoretical … Continue reading

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Infinite Jest: Putting the ‘a’ in ‘a priori’

The truth will set you free, but not until it’s done with you.  David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) David Foster Wallace, widely considered one of the greatest American writers, hanged himself in his garage on September 12th 2008 after suffering for … Continue reading

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Shakespearean Anarchism: The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law. The world affords no law to make thee rich Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.                                                                            Romeo handing gold to the Apothecary, Romeo and Juliet, 5.1.72-75 … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Shakespeare | 2 Comments