Andrea Moro

"Linguistica mendeliana" ovvero quali domande su genetica e grammatica?

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It is generally assumed that human language is the result of a biological program codified in the genome of the human species. In this paper, the relation between linguistics and genetics is critically addressed. In particular, it is suggested that the genetic aspects of formal linguistics are nowadays at best just metaphorical. More specifically, it is highlighted that there is no equivalent to the notion of gene in grammar. In fact, no grammatical phenomenon has been isolated which showed a mendelian distribution. Nevertheless, the role of formal linguistics is emphasised as an obligatory preliminary step toward a better understanding of the biological foundations of language.

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