Plus or Minus 30 Years in the Language Sciences


should be sent to Elissa L. Newport, Department of Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Meliora Hall 314–River Campus, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627. E-mail:


The language sciences—Linguistics, Psycholinguistics, and Computational Linguistics—have not been broadly represented at the Cognitive Science Society meetings of the past 30 years, but they are an important part of the heart of cognitive science. This article discusses several major themes that have dominated the controversies and consensus in the study of language and suggests the most pressing issues of the future. These themes include differences among the language science disciplines in their view of numbers and symbols and of modular and distributed cognition, and the need for an increasing prominence of questions concerning language and the brain.