The Language Organ

The Language Organ: Linguistics as Cognitive Physiology

Stephen R. Anderson and David W. Lightfoot

This study treats human language as the manifestation of a faculty of the mind, which is seen as a mental organ whose nature is determined by human biology and whose functional properties should be explored as physiology explores the functional properties of physical organs. The book surveys the nature of the language faculty in its various aspects: the systems of sounds, words, and syntax, the development of language in the child and historically, what is known about its relation to the brain.


• An explanation of what linguists mean when they refer to language as a mental ‘organ’

• Discussion of the biological basis for a person’s use of language

• Novel analyses of linguistic phenomena in a number of areas, presented so as to be accessible to readers who are not linguistic scholars

Paperback  ISBN:9780521007832

Publication date:September 2002


2 b/w illus.

Dimensions: 228 x 152 mm

Weight: 0.462kg

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