Two notions of modularity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


This chapter examines the nature of modularity of language from two perspectives: as an input system, in Fodor's sense, with mechanisms dedicated to parsing sentence structure; and as a "central" system, dedicated to grammatical representations and computations yielding structural descriptions for both input and output systems. Arguments against the first and in favor of the second perspective are developed. The postulation of the language module as a central system appears to be immune to some of Fodor's criticisms of central systems as holistic and dedicated to belief fixation. If the approach outlined here is on the right track, considerable rethinking of the nature and use of language is in order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOn Concepts, Modules, and Language
Subtitle of host publicationCognitive Science at its Core
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780190464783
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Biolinguistics
  • Central system
  • Comprehension
  • Descartes
  • Fodor
  • Grammar
  • Language
  • Modularity
  • Parsing
  • Production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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