Monday, September 5, 2005

FOXP2 Not the "Grammar Gene"

Sometimes my friends will send me links to language-related articles, since you people know that I'm into languages. And occasionally, the unfortunate happens and one of these links will be a bunch of incorrect hooey, a pop-culture rendition about language rather than a more scientific look at it.

With that background in mind, I felt it might be good for me to blog to you guys about a language issue first. If you look around the web or the news for information on FOXP2, you'll see a lot of people calling it the "language gene" or "grammar gene". Please read Language Log's article on the matter before jumping to conclusions about this genetic discovery; it looks like FOXP2 may be more related to the motor control necessary to speak than to a person's mental linguistic abilities.

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