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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

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This has little to do with your post, but reading your blog last week it occurred to me that many who resist or argue against the idea of innateness being a source for syntactic universals don't really know what syntacticians claim those universals are. Any debate takes on a bit of a futile flavor.

So I decided to post something at my own blog on the topic (even though my blog isn't about linguistics). I enumerate four principles that syntacticians would widely agree are universal and have some basis in innateness. I really think any argument against innateness has to provide non-innate stories for at least these four specific phenomena.

BLOGGER: This is a great service. The post can be found at


In case you are not aware of that, Dan Sperber and some of his collaborators defend a theory of language evolution that puts the stress on pragmatics, and that convincingly argues that theory of mind must have evolved before language.
See particularly these two papers
and my post on the topic
By the way, Dan Sperber is also the creator, with Deirdre Wilson of relevance theory, the most important single theory in pragmatics, and the theory has obvious links with attentional phenomena, so you might also be interested.

Giorgio Marchetti


Personally, I do not know Dan Sperber's work. Thank you for the indication.

Giorgio Marchetti

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