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Exploring functional neuroimaging and brain dynamics, and introducing core concepts from each domain (both theoretical and experimental), this chapter will provide the first monograph treatment of the oscillatory basis of language. It will also outline an initial model for phrase structure building.
This chapter surveys what the ethological record reveals about the uniqueness of the human computational system, and explores how linguistic theories account for what ethology may determine to be human-specific. The core computational architecture of the language faculty is compared alongside existing accounts of non-human primates, songbirds and a number of other species, helping to delimit what computational processes electrophysiological models of language need to account for.
This introductory chapter will discuss the general goals of the book, which are essentially exploratory (i.e. a comprehensive review of the current state of the art) and explanatory (i.e. discussing the potential for particular aspects of brains dynamics and neuroanatomy to explain basic features of linguistic cognition). A background of the relevant linguistic concepts will be presented, and the concept of natural language syntax will be sufficiently decomposed into more generic computational processes.
This chapter refines the oscillatory model of phrase structure building. Considerably, greater empirical coverage will be presented, but the narrow focus on syntactic and semantic comprehension is maintained. In addition, broader implications for neuroethology and theories of language evolution are discussed.
Drawing on cutting-edge ideas from the biological and cognitive sciences, this book presents both an innovative neuro-computational model of language comprehension and a state-of-the-art review of current topics in neurolinguistics. It explores a range of newly-emerging topics in the biological study of language, building them into a framework which views language as grounded in endogenous neural oscillatory behaviour. This allows the author to formulate a number of hypotheses concerning the relationship between neurobiology and linguistic computation. Murphy also provides an extensive overview of recent theoretical and experimental work on the neurobiological basis of language, from which the reader will emerge up-to-date on major themes and debates. This lively overview of contemporary issues in theoretical linguistics, combined with a clear theory of how language is processed, is essential reading for scholars and students across a range of disciplines.