In addition to the main conference, EvoLang XIII will host eight thematically focused, half-day workshops.
Evolution of the Extended Language System
Organized by Robert Barton and Cedric Boeckx
Research on the neurobiological basis of language evolution has focussed mainly on cortical mechanisms and on differences between human and chimpanzee brains. However, this may be too restrictive to provide an accurate account of the neurobiology of language evolution, and there is growing appreciation of the contribution of subcortical structures to the control of speech and syntax, together with a phylogenetically broader and more domain-general perspective on behavioural sequence control out of which linguistic syntax may have emerged. Accordingly, this workshop is aimed at developing the concept of an Extended Language System, entailing a consideration of (i) both cortical and subcortical mechanisms and their connectivity, (ii) general aspects of syntactical behaviour, and (iii) comparisons across a phylogenetically wide range of species. The workshop welcomes input from cognitive scientists/neuroscientists, molecular biologists, experts in phylogenetic comparative methods, and primatologists interested in syntactical aspects of behaviour