Under Construction

A little over half a century ago philosophers and psychologists at Harvard shared a single department housed in Emerson Hall, its ground-floor corridor presided over by a seated, slightly frowning Ralph Waldo Emerson in bronze. The psychologists by then could scarcely wait to be free of their old-fashioned colleagues. That …

Where Does Language Come From?

Rarely does the question of the origins of human language provoke serious attention from linguists. It is not that the subject is a trivial one, or that it lacks a history of speculative debate. But discussions of how language originated tend to pass over the very features of human language …