Hauser, M. D., Chomsky, N., & Fitch, W. T. (2002). The faculty of language: What is it, who has it, and how did it evolve? Science, 298(5598), 1569-1579.
We argue that an understanding of the faculty of language requires
substantial interdisciplinary cooperation. We suggest how current
developments in linguistics can be profitably wedded to work in
evolutionary biology, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience. We
submit that a distinction should be made between the faculty of
language in the broad sense (FLB) and in the narrow sense (FLN). FLB
includes a sensory-motor system, a conceptual-intentional system, and
the computational mechanisms for recursion, providing the capacity to
generate an infinite range of expressions from a finite set of
elements. We hypothesize that FLN only includes recursion and is the
only uniquely human component of the faculty of language. We further
argue that FLN may have evolved for reasons other than language,
hence comparative studies might look for evidence of such
computations outside of the domain of communication (for example,
number, navigation, and social relations).