Monday, April 14, 2014

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Boeckx & Benitez-Burraco at Evolang X

Cedric Boeckx and Antonio Benitez-Burraco will be giving two joint talks at Evolang X, in Vienna, both on April 17:
  • Language disorders as windows on language evolution
  • A proposal concerning the gene network that regulates the shape of the language-ready brain
For more information, please visit the conference website.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Thanks to the UB vice-rector of research for awarding us a research grant to pursue our current work and dissemination activities.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Interview with Marc Hauser

As part of the activities of the two projects led by Cedric Boeckx (a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant from the European Union (PIRG-GA-2009-256413) and a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (FFI-2010-20634), scholars came to visit our group (BIB) and gave seminar talks. Pedro Tiago Martins and Evelina Leivada took advantage of these visits to interview our guests on various topics in Biolinguistics. All of the interviews will eventually be made available on our blog, under the rubric "(Inter)views on Biolinguistics" (notice the new section next to "Blog").

We will start with Marc Hauser, who we had the pleasure to welcome for two talks last March.

You can download the interview here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boeckx & Benítez-Burraco in Frontiers

Cedric Boeckx & Antonio Benítez-Burraco's piece on the language-ready brain and its genetic underpinnings is just out in Frontiers:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mark your calendar: Talk by Dan Dediu

On April 10, Dan Dediu from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics will be visiting us, and will give a talk titled:

Did the Neandert(h)als talk and why would it matter?

The talk will take place in room 0.2, in the ground floor of the Josep Carner Building (Gran Via w/Aribau), from 4pm to 6pm.

As usual, attendance is free and encouraged.

Spread the word!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Boeckx stepping down as co-editor of Biolinguistics journal

Every good thing comes to an end. I have decided to step down as co-editor of the Biolinguistics journal. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who made it possible for me and my co-editor Kleanthes to take the journal where it is today: the contributors, reviewers, task team members, and, of course, the readers. When I began to think about the possibility of starting a journal, quite a few years ago, I sought the advice of editors and friends, and I want to thank them too. From Norbert Hornstein, I got the idea of trying to make the reviewing process more efficient than what we had experienced with linguistics journals, and to take a more active role in seeking potential contributors, and in deciding what to publish or not. From S.J. Keyser I got the best piece of advice of all: Jay told me to decide right from the start what factor(s) would lead me to stop running the journal I had in mind. Jay went on to tell me that he had told himself that he'd stop running Linguistic Inquiry as soon as it got in the red. Since by then I was already leaning towards a free-for-all, and Open Access model, Jay's criterion did not strike me as the one I'd adopt. Rather, I told myself that I'd stop editing the journal when it would stop being among my top recommendations for my students to submit their works to. Back then, around 2006, biolinguistics was undergoing the beginning of a revival among linguists, and there was certainly a need for a forum where linguists would be given the possibility of building bridges with other disciplines. These attempts, modest as they are, truly deserve an official recognition, in the form of an official publication venue, for them to flourish. I feel that the Biolinguistics journal has certainly contributed to the progress we have witnessed over the past seven years. In the meantime, more publication venues have emerged, and/or opened themselves to work on the biological foundations of language, and linguists have begun to contribute to them. Moreover, open access repositories like bioRxiv now offer the possibility to make one's work rapidly available to the entire community at no cost. All of this is real progress for the field, and I think now is a good time to reflect on where to go next for the Biolinguistics journal. Doing so requires the injection on new ideas, a rethinking of the editorial board, and perhaps of the publication model as a whole, and I think that too long a tenure as editor can get in the way, hence my stepping down.

Let me close by thanking my co-editor Kleanthes K. Grohmann for all the work and energy he put into this project. I'm quite sure it's been a challenging task to work with me and accept some of the suggestions I made over the years. To all of you who have read until this line, remember to contribute to this extraordinary and exiting field in any way you can, and to promote biolinguistics in the strongest sense of the term.
---Cedric Boeckx, Barcelona, March 31, 2014.