Research Interests

My research falls in two areas: how colors are named in different languages and the structure of languages. Contrary to earlier anthropological and linguistic relativity doctrine, we now know that patterns of color naming in the world's languages, although by no means identical, are universally constrained by parameters of human color vision (possibly shared by all Old World primates). Current research investigates the exact nature of these parameters. My research on grammar is based on a formal model that is closer to observable fact than that of Chomsky and his associates. It assumes, for example, only one level of representation, no "empty categories" and no "movement." The accompanying psychological assumption is that human infants are equipped with special structure-inducing abilities for language, not necessarily with innate knowledge of language structure.

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Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology

Secondary Section

Section 52: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences