2010年11月30日 星期二

Alexander Luria

Alexander Luria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alexander Romanovich Luria (Russian: Алекса́ндр Рома́нович Лу́рия; 16 July 1902 – 14 August 1977) was a famous Soviet neuropsychologist and developmental psychologist. He was one of the founders of cultural-historical psychology and psychological activity theory.


Luria was born in Kazan, a regional center east of Moscow, to Jewish parents. He studied at Kazan State University (graduated in 1921), Kharkov Medical Institute and 1st Moscow Medical Institute (graduated in 1937). He was appointed Professor (1944), Doctor of Pedagogical (1937) and Medical Sciences (1943). Throughout his career Luria worked in a wide range of scientific fields at such institutions as the Academy of Communist Education (1920-30s), Experimental Defectological Institute (1920-30s, 1950-60s, both in Moscow), Ukrainian Psychoneurological Academy (Kharkov, early 1930s), All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine, Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery (late 1930s), and other institutions. In the late 1930s, Luria went to medical school. Following the war, Luria continued his work in Moscow's Institute of Psychology. For a period of time, he was removed from the Institute of Psychology, mainly as a result of a flare-up of anti-Semitism and shifted to research on mentally retarded children at the Defectological Institute in the 1950s. Additionally, from 1945 on Luria worked at the Moscow State University and was instrumental in the foundation of the Faculty of Psychology at the Moscow State University, where he later headed the Departments of Patho- and Neuropsychology.

Scientific work

While a student in Kazan, he established the Kazan Psychoanalytic Association and exchanged letters with Sigmund Freud.
In 1923, his work with reaction times related to thought processes earned him a position at the Institute of Psychology in Moscow. There, he developed the "combined motor method," which helped diagnose individuals' thought processes, creating the first ever lie-detector device. This research was published in the US in 1932 (published in Russian for the first time only in 2002).
In 1924, Luria met Lev Vygotsky, who would influence him greatly. Along with Alexei Nikolaevich Leont'ev, these three psychologists launched a project of developing a psychology of a radically new kind. This approach fused "cultural," "historical," and "instrumental" psychology and is most commonly referred to presently as cultural-historical psychology. It emphasizes the mediatory role of culture, particularly language, in the development of higher mental functions in ontogeny and phylogeny.
Luria's work continued in the 1930s with his psychological expeditions to Central Asia. Under the supervision of Vygotsky, Luria investigated various psychological changes (including perception, problem solving, and memory) that take place as a result of cultural development of undereducated minorities. In this regard he has been credited with a major contribution to the study of orality.[1] Later, he studied identical and fraternal twins in large residential schools to determine the interplay of various factors of cultural and genetic human development. In his early neuropsychological work in the end of 1930s as well as throughout his postwar academic life he focused on the study of aphasia, focusing on the relation between language, thought, and cortical functions, particularly on the development of compensatory functions for aphasia.
During World War II Luria led a research team at an army hospital looking for ways to compensate psychological dysfunctions in patients with brain lesions. His work resulted in creating the field of Neuropsychology. His two main case studies, both published a few years before his death, described S.V. Shereshevskii, a Russian journalist with a seemingly unlimited memory (1968), in part due to his fivefold synesthesia. This case was presented in a book The Mind of a Mnemonist. Luria's other most well-known book is The Man with a Shattered World, a penetrating account of Zasetsky, a man who suffered a traumatic brain injury (1972). These case studies illustrate Luria's main methods of combining classical and remediational approaches.

[edit] Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Test

The Luria-Nebraska is a standardized test based on the theories of Luria regarding neuropsychological functioning.
There are 14 scales:
  1. motor functions,
  2. rhythm,
  3. tactile functions,
  4. visual functions,
  5. receptive speech,
  6. expressive speech,
  7. writing,
  8. reading,
  9. arithmetic,
  10. memory,
  11. intellectual processes,
  12. pathognomic,
  13. left hemisphere and
  14. right hemisphere.
It is used with people who are 15 years or older; however, it may be used with adolescents down to 12 years old. Part of A.R. Luria's legacy was the premium that he placed on the observation of a patient completing a task; intraindividual differences. The modern practice of standardized testing tends to neglect this aspect of psychology. The Luria-Nebraska Neuropsychological Battery (now in its third iteration) attempts to create an alloy of standardized testing and idiosyncratic observation by allowing comparison to the normative sample, and at the same time giving the test administrator flexibility in the administration.


source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Luria

An Incomplete List of the Ariticles on the Linguistic Ability of Neanderthal

Lieberman, Philip; Edmund S. Crelin (Spring 1971). "On the Speech of Neanderthal Man". Linguistic Inquiry 2 (2): 203–222. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4177625. Retrieved 18 May 2009.

 Wade, Nicholas (19 October 2007). "Neanderthals Had Important Speech Gene, DNA Evidence Shows". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/19/science/19speech-web.html. Retrieved 18 May 2009.

 Mithen, Steven J. (2006). The singing neanderthals: the origins of music, language, mind, and body. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

M Le May (1975).  The language capability of Neanderthal man. American Journal of Physical Anthropology

P Mellars (1998). Neanderthals, modern humans and the archaeological evidence for language. The origin and diversification of language


Who is Lev Vygotsky?

Lev Vygotsky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky (Russian: Лев Семёнович Вы́готский or Выго́тский, born Lev Simyonovich Vygodsky[1][2]; November 17 [O.S. November 5] 1896 – June 11, 1934) was a Soviet psychologist and the founder of cultural-historical psychology.


Vygotsky was born in Orsha, in the Russian Empire (today in Belarus) into a nonreligious Jewish family. He was influenced by his cousin David Vygodsky. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1917. Later, he worked at the Institute of Psychology (mid-1920s)and other educational, research and clinical institutions in Moscow, Leningrad, and Kharkov where worked extensively on ideas about cognitive development. He died in 1934 in Moscow of tuberculosis at the age of 37.


A pioneering psychologist, Vygotsky was also a highly prolific author: his major works span 6 volumes, written over roughly 10 years, from his Psychology of Art (1925) to Thought and Language [or Thinking and Speech] (1934). Vygotsky's interests in the fields of developmental psychology, child development, and education were extremely diverse. The philosophical framework he provided includes not only insightful interpretations about the cognitive role of tools of mediation, but also the re-interpretation of well-known concepts in psychology such as the notion of internalization of knowledge. Vygotsky introduced the notion of zone of proximal development, an innovative metaphor capable of describing not the actual, but the potential of human cognitive development. His work covered such diverse topics as the origin and the psychology of art, development of higher mental functions, philosophy of science and methodology of psychological research, the relation between learning and human development, concept formation, interrelation between language and thought development, play as a psychological phenomenon, the study of learning disabilities, and abnormal human development (aka defectology).

Cultural mediation and internalization

Vygotsky investigated child development and how this was guided by the role of culture and interpersonal communication. Vygotsky observed how higher mental functions developed historically within particular cultural groups, as well as individually through social interactions with significant people in a child's life, particularly parents, but also other adults. Through these interactions, a child came to learn the habits of mind of her/his culture, including speech patterns, written language, and other symbolic knowledge through which the child derives meaning and which affected a child's construction of her/his knowledge. This key premise of Vygotskian psychology is often referred to as cultural mediation. The specific knowledge gained by children through these interactions also represented the shared knowledge of a culture. This process is known as internalization.[3]
Internalization can be understood in one respect as “knowing how”. For example, riding a bicycle or pouring a cup of milk are tools of the society and initially outside and beyond the child. The mastery of these skills occurs through the activity of the child within society. A further aspect of internalization is appropriation, in which the child takes a tool and makes it his own, perhaps using it in a way unique to himself. Internalizing the use of a pencil allows the child to use it very much for his own ends rather than draw exactly what others in society have drawn previously.[3]
Guided participation, which takes place when creative thinkers interact with a knowledgeable person, is practiced around the world. Cultures may differ, though, in the goals of development. For example, Mayan mothers in Guatemala help their daughters learn to weave through guided participation.[3]

Psychology of play

Less known is Vygotsky's research on play, or children's games, as a psychological phenomenon and its role in the child's development. Through play the child develops abstract meaning separate from the objects in the world, which is a critical feature in the development of higher mental functions.[4]
The famous example Vygotsky gives is of a child who wants to ride a horse but cannot. If the child were under three, he would perhaps cry and be angry, but around the age of three the child's relationship with the world changes: "Henceforth play is such that the explanation for it must always be that it is the imaginary, illusory realization of unrealizable desires. Imagination is a new formation that is not present in the consciousness of the very raw young child, is totally absent in animals, and represents a specifically human form of conscious activity. Like all functions of consciousness, it originally arises from action." (Vygotsky, 1978)
The child wishes to ride a horse but cannot, so he picks up a stick and stands astride of it, thus pretending he is riding a horse. The stick is a pivot. "Action according to rules begins to be determined by ideas, not by objects.... It is terribly difficult for a child to sever thought (the meaning of a word) from object. Play is a transitional stage in this direction. At that critical moment when a stick – i.e., an object – becomes a pivot for severing the meaning of horse from a real horse, one of the basic psychological structures determining the child’s relationship to reality is radically altered".
As children get older, their reliance on pivots such as sticks, dolls and other toys diminishes. They have internalized these pivots as imagination and abstract concepts through which they can understand the world. "The old adage that children’s play is imagination in action can be reversed: we can say that imagination in adolescents and schoolchildren is play without action" (Vygotsky, 1978).
Another aspect of play that Vygotsky referred to was the development of social rules that develop, for example, when children play house and adopt the roles of different family members. Vygotsky cites an example of two sisters playing at being sisters. The rules of behavior between them that go unnoticed in daily life are consciously acquired through play. As well as social rules, the child acquires what we now refer to as self-regulation. For example, when a child stands at the starting line of a running race, she may well desire to run immediately so as to reach the finish line first, but her knowledge of the social rules surrounding the game and her desire to enjoy the game enable her to regulate her initial impulse and wait for the start signal.

Thought and Language

Perhaps Vygotsky's most important contribution concerns the inter-relationship of language development and thought. This concept, explored in Vygotsky's book Thought and Language, (alternative translation: Thinking and Speaking) establishes the explicit and profound connection between speech (both silent inner speech and oral language), and the development of mental concepts and cognitive awareness. It should be noted that Vygotsky described inner speech as being qualitatively different from normal (external) speech. Although Vygotsky believed inner speech developed from external speech via a gradual process of internalization, with younger children only really able to "think out loud," he claimed that in its mature form inner speech would be unintelligible to anyone except the thinker, and would not resemble spoken language as we know it (in particular, being greatly compressed). Hence, thought itself develops socially.[3]
An infant learns the meaning of signs through interaction with its main care-givers, e.g., pointing, cries, and gurgles can express what is wanted. How verbal sounds can be used to conduct social interaction is learned through this activity, and the child begins to utilize, build, and develop this faculty, e.g., using names for objects, etc.[3]
Language starts as a tool external to the child used for social interaction. The child guides personal behavior by using this tool in a kind of self-talk or "thinking out loud." Initially, self-talk is very much a tool of social interaction and it tapers to negligible levels when the child is alone or with deaf children. Gradually self-talk is used more as a tool for self-directed and self-regulating behavior. Then, because speaking has been appropriated and internalized, self-talk is no longer present around the time the child starts school. Self-talk "develops along a rising not a declining, curve; it goes through an evolution, not an involution. In the end, it becomes inner speech" (Vygotsky, 1987, pg 57). Inner speech develops through its differentiation from social speech.[3]
Speaking has thus developed along two lines, the line of social communication and the line of inner speech, by which the child mediates and regulates their activity through their thoughts which in turn are mediated by the semiotics (the meaningful signs) of inner speech. This is not to say that thinking cannot take place without language, but rather that it is mediated by it and thus develops to a much higher level of sophistication. Just as the birthday cake as a sign provides much deeper meaning than its physical properties allow, inner speech as signs provides much deeper meaning than the lower psychological functions would otherwise allow.[3]
Inner speech is not comparable in form to external speech. External speech is the process of turning thought into words. Inner speech is the opposite; it is the conversion of speech into inward thought. Inner speech for example contains predicates only. Subjects are superfluous. Words too are used much more economically. One word in inner speech may be so replete with sense to the individual that it would take many words to express it in external speech.[3]

[edit] Zone of proximal development

"Zone of proximal development" (ZPD) is Vygotsky’s term for the range of tasks that a child can complete independently and those completed with the guidance and assistance of adults or more-skilled children. The lower limit of ZPD is the level of skill reached by the child working independently. The upper limit is the level of additional responsibility the child can accept with the assistance of an able instructor. The ZPD captures the child’s cognitive skills that are in the process of maturing and can be accomplished only with the assistance of a more-skilled person. Scaffolding is a concept closely related to the idea of ZPD. Scaffolding is changing the level of support. Over the course of a teaching session, a more-skilled person adjusts the amount of guidance to fit the child’s current performance. Dialogue is an important tool of this process in the zone of proximal development. In a dialogue unsystematic, disorganized, and spontaneous concepts of a child are met with the more systematic, logical and rational concepts of the skilled helper.[3]

Influence in Eastern Europe

In the Soviet Union, the work of the group of Vygotsky's students known as the Kharkov School of Psychology was vital for preserving the scientific legacy of Lev Vygotsky and identifying new avenues of its subsequent development. The members of the group laid a foundation for Vygotskian psychology's systematic development in such diverse fields as the psychology of memory (P. Zinchenko), perception, sensation and movement (Zaporozhets, Asnin, A. N. Leont'ev), personality (L. Bozhovich, Asnin, A. N. Leont'ev), will and volition (Zaporozhets, A. N. Leont'ev, P. Zinchenko, L. Bozhovich, Asnin), psychology of play (G. D. Lukov, D. El'konin) and psychology of learning (P. Zinchenko, L. Bozhovich, D. El'konin), as well as the theory of step-by-step formation of mental actions (Gal'perin), general psychological activity theory (A. N. Leont'ev) and psychology of action (Zaporozhets). A. Puzyrey elaborated the ideas of Vygotsky in respect of psychotherapy and even in the broader context of deliberate psychological intervention (psychotechnique), in general. Alexander Zelitchenko developed Vygotsky's ideas in his developmental psychology of nations, discovering the mode of historical process creates new mental patterns, including culture-determined modes of thinking.


In the Soviet Union, the school of Vygotsky and, specifically, his cultural-historical psychology was much criticized during his lifetime as well as after his death. By the beginning of the 1930s, the school was defeated in Soviet academic and political circles by Vygotsky's "scientific" opponents who criticized him for "idealist aberrations", which at that time equaled with the charge in disloyalty to the Communist Party (and, particularly during the Stalin era, frequently entailed serious consequences not only for academic work but also in terms of potential prosecution, detention, and/or execution). As a result of this criticism of their work, a major group of Vygotsky's students including Luria and Leontiev had to flee from Moscow to Ukraine where they established the Kharkov school of psychology. Later, the representatives of the school would, in turn, in the second half of the 1930s criticize Vygotsky himself for his interest in the cross-disciplinary study of the child that was developed under the umbrella term of paedology (also spelled as pedology) as well as for his ignoring the role of practice and practical, object-bound activity and arguably his emphasis on the research on the role of language and, on the other hand, emotional factors in human development. Much of this early criticism of the 1930s was later discarded by these Vygotskian scholars themselves. Another line of the critique of Vygotsky's psychological theory comes from such major figures of the Soviet psychology as Sergei Rubinstein and his followers who criticized Vygotsky's notion of mediation and its development in the works of students.
Some critics say Vygotsky overemphasized the role of language in thinking. Also, his emphasis on collaboration and guidance has potential pitfalls if facilitators are too helpful in some cases. An example of that would be an overbearing and controlling parent. Other critics argue that some children may become lazy and expect help when they can do something on their own.[3]


  1. ^ Б. Г. Мещеряков. "Л. С. Выготский и его имя"
  2. ^ The traditional pronunciation of Vygotsky's family name is with the stress on the first syllable, and it is so marked in, for example, the Bolshoi entsyklopedicheskii slovar; its current pronunciation, with the stress on the second syllable, has presumably been changed on the analogy of names like Vysotsky.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Santrock, J (2004). A Topical Approach To Life-Span Development. Chapter 6 Cognitive Development Approaches (200 – 225). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  4. ^ See Paul Tough, "Can the right kinds of play teach self-control?", New York Times, 2009/09/27 (reviewing the "Tools of the Mind" curriculum based on Vygotsky's research).



Writings by L. S. Vygotsky

  • Consciousness as a problem in the Psychology of Behavior, essay, 1925
  • Educational Psychology, 1926
  • Historical meaning of the crisis in Psychology, 1927
  • The Problem of the Cultural Development of the Child, essay 1929
  • The Fundamental Problems of Defectology, article 1929
  • The Socialist alteration of Man, 1930
  • Ape, Primitive Man, and Child: Essays in the History of Behaviour. A. R. Luria and L. S. Vygotsky. 1930
  • Paedology of the Adolescent, 1931
  • Play and its role in the Mental development of the Child, essay 1933
  • Thinking and Speech, 1934
  • Tool and symbol in child development, 1934
  • Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, 1978
  • Thought and Language, 1986
  • The Collected Works of L. S. Vygotsky, 1987 overview

Secondary literature

Major monographs about Vygotsky's Work
  • Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the Social Formation of Mind, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., and London.
  • Kozulin, A. (1990). Vygotsky's Psychology: A Biography of Ideas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Lee, C. D., & Smagorinsky, P. (Editors) (2000). Vygotskian perspectives on literacy research: Constructing meaning through collaborative inquiry. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Van der Veer, R., & Valsiner, J. (1991). Understanding Vygotsky. A quest for synthesis. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
  • Newman, F. & Holzman, L. (1993). Lev Vygotsky: Revolutionary scientist. London: Routledge.Drove
  • Van der Veer, R., & Valsiner, J. (Eds.) (1994). The Vygotsky Reader. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Daniels, H. (Ed.) (1996). An Introduction to Vygotsky, London: Routledge.
  • Cole, M. & Wertsch, J. (1996). Contemporary Implications of Vygotsky and Luria, Worcester, MA: Clark University Press.
  • Vygodskaya, G. L., & Lifanova, T. M. (1996/1999). Lev Semenovich Vygotsky, Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, Part 1, 37 (2), 3-90; Part 2, 37 (3), 3-90; Part 3, 37 (4), 3-93, Part 4, 37 (5), 3-99.
  • Veresov, N. N. (1999). Undiscovered Vygotsky: Etudes on the pre-history of cultural-historical psychology. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Daniels, H., Wertsch, J. & Cole, M. (Eds.) (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Vygotsky
  • Van der Veer, Rene (2007). Lev Vygotsky: Continuum Library of Educational Thought. Continuum. ISBN 0-8264-8409-3.

    Vygotsky's texts online

    In English
  • Lev Vygotsky archive, marxists.org: all major works
In Russian
In French
 source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Vygotsky

The Biolinguistics Manifesto

The Biolinguistics Manifesto
Cedric Boeckx & Kleanthes K. Grohmann
1. What We Mean by Biolinguistics 

Exactly fifty years ago Noam Chomsky published Syntactic Structures (Chomsky1957), a slim volume that conveyed some essential results of his then unpub­lished Logical Structure of Linguistic Theory (Chomsky 1955/1975). The results were presented in such a way as to emphasize key aspects of the combinatorialproperties of grammar (a reflex of the fact that the volume grew out of class notesfor an audience of engineers), but, as is well-known, Syntactic Structures had an important subliminal message that was made explicit in Chomsky’s famous review of Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (Chomsky 1959), and even more so in chapter 1 of Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (Chomsky 1965). The message, decidedlypsychological in character, defines the central goal of the generative enterprise asthat of identifying the properties of the human language faculty. This central goalcan be broken down into a series of more precise questions (see Chomsky 1986, 1988): 

1. What is knowledge of language?
2. How is that knowledge acquired?
3. How is that knowledge put to use?
4. How is that knowledge implemented in the brain?
5. How did that knowledge emerge in the species? 

Today these five questions constitute the conceptual core and focus of inquiry infields like theoretical linguistics (the traditional areas of syntax, semantics, mor­phology, phonology), pragmatics, first and second language acquisition, psycho-linguistics, neurolinguistics, and beyond.
What these research questions emphasize is the fact that language can, andshould, be studied like any other attribute of our species, and more specifically,as an organ of the mind/brain.

The past fifty years have shown, uncontroversially in our opinion, that itmakes eminent sense, at various levels, to regard the study of the languagefaculty as a branch of biology, at a suitable level of abstraction. After all, the fivequestions listed above are but (conceptually unpacked) variants of Tinbergen’sfamous four questions in his classic paper “On the Aims and Methods of Etho­logy” (Tinbergen 1963), a central document in the biology of (animal) behavior: 

1What stimulates the animal to respond with the behavior it displays, and what are the response mechanisms?
2. How does an organism develop as the individual matures?
3. Why is the behavior necessary for the animal's success and how does evolution act on that behavior?
4. How has a particular behavior evolved through time? Can we trace a common behavior of two species back to their common ancestor? 

The goal of this new journal is to provide a forum, a context, and a framework for discussion of these foundational issues. We decided to call the journal Biolinguistics to highlight the commitment of the generative enterprise to the biological foundations of language, and to emphasize the necessarily interdisciplinary character of such enterprise.

There is both a weak and a strong sense to the term ‘biolinguistics’. The weak sense of the term refers to “business as usual” for linguists, so to speak, tothe extent they are seriously engaged in discovering the properties of grammar,in effect carrying out the research program Chomsky initiated in Syntactic Structures

The strong sense of the term ‘biolinguistics’ refers to attempts to provideexplicit answers to questions that necessarily require the combination of lingu­istic insights and insights from related disciplines (evolutionary biology, genetics,neurology, psychology, etc.). We regard Eric Lenneberg’s book, Biological Foun­dations of Language, published exactly forty years ago (Lenneberg 1967), as thebest example of research in biolinguistics in this strong sense.

We would like our journal to provide a forum for work in biolinguistics inboth the weak and the strong sense. We would like to stress that the term ‘weaksense’ is not meant to indicate that we regard work focusing narrowly on properties of the grammar as inferior to interdisciplinary work. Indeed we thinkthat such work is not only necessary, but has very often proven to be the basis formore interdisciplinary studies. 

2.     Why Start Biolinguistics Now? 

The term ‘biolinguistics’ first appears, to our knowledge, as part of a book title,the Handbook of Biolinguistics, published nearly 60 years ago (Meader & Muyskens 1950). The book advocates (as the authors put it) a modern science of bio­linguistics, whose practitioners “look upon language study […] as a natural science, and hence regard language as an integrated group of biological processes […]. This group seeks an explanation of all language phenomena in the functional integration of tissue and environment” (Meader & Muyskens 1950: 9).
The term ‘biolinguistics’ resurfaces in 1974 as part of a report on an interdisciplinary meeting on language and biology (Piattelli-Palmarini 1974),attended by Salvador Luria and Noam Chomsky, and organized by MassimoPiattelli-Palmarini, under the sponsorship of the Royaumont center for a Science of Man. 
Around the same time (a period well-documented in Jenkins 2000), Lyle
Jenkins attempted to launch a journal entitled Biolinguistics, and received support from pre-eminent biologists (support documented by three extant letters repro­duced in an Appendix to this editorial manifesto). The journal never materia­lized, but the concerns and issues discussed three decades ago didn’t disappear.As a matter of fact, all these issues, many of which anticipated in Lenneberg 1967,came back on the agenda of linguists and other cognitive scientists. 

We believe that the recent resurgence of interest in ‘biolinguistics’ is due inlarge part to the advent of the minimalist program in linguistic theory (Chomsky1993 and subsequent work). At the heart of the minimalist program is the question of how much of the architecture of the language faculty can be given aprincipled explanation. Specifically, minimalism asks how well the engine of language meets design requirements imposed by the cognitive systems it subserves. Inevitably, linguists working in the context of the minimalist programare forced to address and sharpen questions of cognitive specificity, ontogeny,phylogeny, and so on, to even begin to understand the design requirementsimposed on the language faculty. This is not to say that previous generations oflinguists were not interested in such issues. But in practice biolinguistic issueshad little effect on empirical inquiry into questions of descriptive and explana­tory adequacy.

It is important for us to stress that biolinguistics is independent of theminimalist program. As Lenneberg’s work makes clear, biolinguistic questionscan be fruitfully addressed outside of a minimalist context. But we think thatsuch a context certainly facilitates, indeed, necessitates inquiry into the biological foundations of language. Last, but not least, we want to remind readers that minimalism is an approach to language that is largely independent of theoreticalpersuasion. It is an aspect of linguistic research that can be shared by virtually all existing frameworks in linguistic theory that we are familiar with. 

3. Our Hope for Biolinguistics 

To paraphrase Theodosius Dobzhansky’s well-known dictum, we think that nothing in language makes sense except in the context of the biology of grammar(cf. Dobzhansky 1973). It is a tribute to Noam Chomsky’s own efforts (as well asthe efforts of his associates, such as Eric Lenneberg) to treat linguistics as anatural science, and by doing so help her become one, that the term biolinguisticsis now seen in course titles, workshops, reading groups, and so on. One can onlyhope that the term biolinguistics will make its way into institutional categories.Our hope is that this journal will contribute to this exciting and rapidly growingfield. 

We are fully aware of the fact that the uniquely interdisciplinary characterof biolinguistics poses difficult problems of communication and misunderstand­ings, but we feel that a growing community of scientists of diverse background,including linguists, evolutionary biologists, molecular biologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists, psychologists, computer scientists, (language or speech and hearing) pathologists, and so on, are slowly overcoming these challenges. Onlycollaboration and mutual respect will make this type of research possible. We
would be delighted if the contributions to Biolinguistics could clarify issues, un­earth new data, and answer some of the questions that will help us understandthe nature of language, and what it is that makes us human. 

4. Outlook: The First Volume and Beyond 

As the journal webpage states, “Biolinguistics is a peer-reviewed journal exploringtheoretical linguistics that takes the biological foundations of human languageseriously” (see http://www.biolinguistics.eu for full text). The high standing ofour editorial board members in their respective fields — leading scholars intheoretical linguistics, language acquisition, language change, theoretical biology,genetics, philosophy of mind, and cognitive psychology — helps to ensure a fair and thorough review process. The journal Biolinguistics has its own ISSN (1450­3417, as imprinted on every contribution’s first page footer as well as back andfront cover) and is currently being abstracted and indexed for the usual places.Access to the journal is free, but online user registration is necessary. The fulldescription of the aims, goals, and scope of the journal Biolinguistics can be obtained from the website. Subscribers will also receive regular updates andinformation, and in the near future, interactive tools will be integrated, for whichEpstein & Seely’s (this volume) multimedia tutorial might just be one example.We encourage submission of products and ideas.

In terms of contributions we accept for submission, Biolinguistics features four types: 

1.  Articles (full-fledged contributions to the field — complete with abstract, introduction, conclusion — peer-reviewed of ideally 10-12,000 words),
2. Briefs (very short notes or points, certainly no more than 2,000 words),
3. Reviews (of recently published books, particular software and other techequipment, or any other items that warrant a review for Biolinguistics), and
4. the Forum (contributions that don't follow into any of the other categories, such as state-of-the-art reports, research overviews, interviews, and so on).

As can be witnessed, this first volume features all types of contributions:Aside from an editorial (to appear on an irregular basis), it contains four articles (on philosophy, phonology, acquisition, and syntax), one brief (on parameters inacquisition) and one book review (on evolutionary phonology), as well as threeforum contributions (a report on experimental syntax, a brief outline for a multimedia tutorial and the relevant link, and an interview).

We would like to close this editorial with an expression of our gratitude toall the people, especially our reviewers and task teams members involved, whohelped complete the first volume (see also p. 150 in the “Forum” category at theend of this issue). We would also like to thank the Department of English Studiesat the University of Cyprus for substantial financial support. 

source: http://www.biolinguistics.eu/index.php/biolinguistics/article/viewFile/26/1