Pinker, S., & Jackendoff, R. (2005). The
faculty of language: what's special about it? Cognition,
We examine the question of which aspects of language are
uniquely human and uniquely linguistic in light of recent
suggestions by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch that the only
such aspect is syntactic recursion.......
We find the hypothesis problematic.......
inconsistent with the anatomy and neural control of the
human vocal tract. And it is weakened by experiments
suggesting that ...... at least one gene involved in
speech and language was evolutionarily selected in the
human lineage but is not specific to recursion..... We contest related arguments that
language is not an adaptation, namely that it is
"perfect," non-redundant, unusable in any partial form,
and badly designed for communication. The hypothesis that
language is a complex adaptation for communication which
evolved piecemeal avoids all these problems. (C) 2004
Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.