Tobias Scheer, CNRS, Université Côte d'Azur

Ling/Cog F: Modules, Interfaces and some consequences for linguistics (advanced)

Tobias Scheer (CNRS, Université Côte d'Azur)
The class discusses what a modular architecture of language could look like, what predictions it makes and what consequences it has. The idea that the mind (and the brain) are made of a number of distinct and functionally specialized systems (domain-specificity) is the founding statement of modularity, introduced by Fodor (1983) in modern times (building on 19th century phrenology). If there are a number of distinct systems (modules) that work on specialized vocabulary that is unintelligible to neighbours, it follows that inter-modular communication can only occur through a translation from one into another vocabulary. This is what linguists call interfaces.