EPP, Chomsky and Elegance in Theory

Since Chomsky’s (1981) revision of the Projection Principle (PP) to include the stipulation that every sentence have a subject (Extended Projection Principle; EPP), syntactic theory has been troubled with an apparent explanatory gap. The empirical coverage of the content of EPP is well-documented (Carnie, 1995; Chomsky, 1994), but it remains restricted to a descriptive statement.... Continue Reading →

Primate Saturday: Jane & Her Chimps

You know what  who I have always been jealous of? Scientists who have found a life-long obsession vocation -- Diane Fossey in the mountains of Uganda, Galdikas in Borneo, and of course, Jane Goodall in Tanzania! I wonder, often, how fulfilling it must be to be able to chase down your scientific curiosities throughout your... Continue Reading →

Primate Saturday: Cocoa with Koko

For over almost half a century, Francine "Penny" Patterson has claimed that her surrogate daughter, a female western lowland gorilla named Koko, can use sign language productively. Following what started as her own PhD project, Koko has gained international publicity due to both the public's fascination with a domesticated gorilla that clearly interacts (but not necessarily... Continue Reading →

Primate Saturday: Ham in Space

Before there was Neil Armstrong, Yuri Gagarin or Carl Sagan, there were the forgotten apes we sent to space. Whether such acts reflect human anthropocentrism, or whether they were worthwhile sacrifices for furthering our understanding of the cosmos, is an open debate. No one, of course, in their right minds would claim that we should... Continue Reading →

Primate Saturday: Mutual Aid Apes

Bonobos share 98.7% of our DNA. Physically, they resemble chimpanzees. But something remarkable sets them apart from their primate cousins, making them an altogether different animal. Bonobos live in almost complete absence of violence; work cooperatively toward shared goals; foster a society that values equality; and engage in prolific casual sex. Could these gentle, promiscuous... Continue Reading →

Primate Saturday: DIY Orangutans

This is going to be a new series in the spirit of understanding the evolution of beings that would ultimately result in higher cognition, the highest being the human ability for logical natural language (my personal area of research). We are all, of course, descendants from the same single source, but even though we share... Continue Reading →

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