Ray S. Jackendoff

Ray Jackendoff is Seth Merrin Professor of Philosophy and Codirector of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of many books, including Foundations of Language.

  • Language, Consciousness, Culture

    Language, Consciousness, Culture

    Essays on Mental Structure

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    An integrative approach to human cognition that encompasses the domains of language, consciousness, action, social cognition, and theory of mind that will foster cross-disciplinary conversation among linguists, philosophers, psycholinguists, neuroscientists, cognitive anthropologists, and evolutionary psychologists.

    Ray Jackendoff's Language, Consciousness, Culture represents a breakthrough in developing an integrated theory of human cognition. It will be of interest to a broad spectrum of cognitive scientists, including linguists, philosophers, psycholinguists, neuroscientists, cognitive anthropologists, and evolutionary psychologists.

    Jackendoff argues that linguistics has become isolated from the other cognitive sciences at least partly because of the syntax-based architecture assumed by mainstream generative grammar. He proposes an alternative parallel architecture for the language faculty that permits a greater internal integration of the components of language and connects far more naturally to such larger issues in cognitive neuroscience as language processing, the connection of language to vision, and the evolution of language.

    Extending this approach beyond the language capacity, Jackendoff proposes sharper criteria for a satisfactory theory of consciousness, examines the structure of complex everyday actions, and investigates the concepts involved in an individual's grasp of society and culture. Each of these domains is used to reflect back on the question of what is unique about human language and what follows from more general properties of the mind.

    Language, Consciousness, Culture extends Jackendoff's pioneering theory of conceptual semantics to two of the most important domains of human thought: social cognition and theory of mind. Jackendoff's formal framework allows him to draw new connections among a large variety of literatures and to uncover new distinctions and generalizations not previously recognized. The breadth of the approach will foster cross-disciplinary conversation; the vision is to develop a richer understanding of human nature.

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  • Language, Logic, and Concepts

    Language, Logic, and Concepts

    Ray S. Jackendoff, Paul Bloom, and Karen Wynn

    This wide-ranging collection of essays is inspired by the memory of the cognitive psychologist John Macnamara, whose influential contributions to language and concept acquisition have provided the basis for numerous research programs. The areas covered by the essays include the foundations of language and thought, congnitive and linguistic development, and mathematical approaches to cognition.

    • Hardcover $100.00 £68.95
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  • The Architecture of the Language Faculty

    The Architecture of the Language Faculty

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    Ray Jackendoff steps back to survey the broader theoretical landscape in linguistics, in an attempt to identify some of the sources of the widely perceived malaise with respect to much current theorizing.

    Over the past twenty-five years, Ray Jackendoff has investigated many complex issues in syntax, semantics, and the relation of language to other cognitive domains. He steps back in this new book to survey the broader theoretical landscape in linguistics, in an attempt to identify some of the sources of the widely perceived malaise with respect to much current theorizing. Starting from the "Minimalist" necessity for interfaces of the grammar with sound, meaning, and the lexicon, Jackendoff examines many standard assumptions of generative grammar that in retrospect may be seen as the product of historical accident. He then develops alternatives more congenial to contemporary understanding of linguistic phenomena. The Architecture of the Language Faculty seeks to situate the language capacity in a more general theory of mental representations and to connect the theory of grammar with processing. To this end, Jackendoff works out an architecture that generates multiple co-constraining structures, and he embeds this proposal in a version of the modularity hypothesis called Representational Modularity. Jackendoff carefully articulates the nature of lexical insertion and the content of lexical entries, including idioms and productive affixes. The resulting organization of the grammar is compatible with many different technical realizations, which he shows can be instantiated in terms of a variety of current theoretical frameworks. Linguistic Inquiry Monograph No. 28

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  • A Generative Theory of Tonal Music, Reissue, With A New Preface

    A Generative Theory of Tonal Music, Reissue, With A New Preface

    Fred Lerdahl and Ray S. Jackendoff

    A search for a grammar of music with the aid of generative linguistics.

    This work, which has become a classic in music theory since its original publication in 1983, models music understanding from the perspective of cognitive science.The point of departure is a search for the grammar of music with the aid of generative linguistics.The theory, which is illustrated with numerous examples from Western classical music, relates the aural surface of a piece to the musical structure unconsciously inferred by the experienced listener. From the viewpoint of traditional music theory, it offers many innovations in notation as well as in the substance of rhythmic and reductional theory.

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  • Languages of the Mind

    Languages of the Mind

    Essays on Mental Representation

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    Over the past two decades, Ray Jackendoff has persistently tackled difficult issues in the theory of mind and related theories of cognitive processing. Chief among his contributions is a formal theory that elaborates the nature of language and its relationship to a broad set of other domains.

    Languages of the Mind provides convenient access to Jackendoff's work over the past five years on the nature of mental representations in a variety of cognitive domains, in the context of a detailed theory of the level of conceptual structure developed in his earlier books Semantics and Cognition and Consciousness and the Computational Mind. The first two chapters summarize the theory of levels of mental representation ("languages of the mind") and their relationships to each other and show how conceptual structure can be approached along lines familiar from syntactic and phonological theory. From this background, subsequent chapters develop issues in word learning (and its pertinence to the Piaget-Chomsky debate) and the relation of conceptual structure to the understanding of physical space.

    Further chapters apply the theory to domains outside of traditional cognitive science. They include an approach to social and cultural cognition modeled on first principles of linguistic theory, the beginnings of a formal description of psychodynamic phenomena, and a discussion of musical parsing and its relation to musical affect that bears on current disputes in linguistic parsing. The final chapter takes up a long-standing conflict between philosophical and psychological approaches to the study of mind, arguing that mental representations should be regarded purely in terms of the combinatorial organization of brain states, and that the philosophical insistence on the intentionality of mental states should be abandoned.

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  • Semantic Structures

    Semantic Structures

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    Semantic Structures is a large-scale study of conceptual structure and its lexical and syntactic expression in English that builds on the system of Conceptual Semantics described in Ray Jackendoff's earlier books Semantics and Cognition and Consciousness and the Computational Mind.

    Jackendoff summarizes the relevant arguments in his two previous books, setting out the basic parameters for the formalization of meaning, and comparing his mentalistic approach with Fodor's Language of Thought hypothesis. He then takes up the Problem of Meaning, extending the range of semantic fields encompassed by the Conceptual Semantics formalism, and the Problem of Correspondence, formalizing the relation between semantic and syntactic structure. Both of these problems must be fully addressed in order to develop a general theory of language that is concerned with syntax and semantics and their points of connection.

    Few books on lexical semantics present such a comprehensive analysis of such a wide range of phenomena from a unified perspective. Besides discussing the conceptual structures of hundreds of words and constructions, Jackendoff extends and deepens the theory to come to grips with such crucial issues as roles and marking; arguments, modifiers, and adjuncts; binding and control; and the thematic linking hierarchy.

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  • Consciousness and the Computational Mind

    Consciousness and the Computational Mind

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    In Consciousness and the Computational Mind, Ray Jackendoff probes one of the fundamental issues in cognitive psychology: How does our conscious experience come to be the way it is? In so doing, he develops an overview of the mental representations invoked by the language, visual, and musical faculties, and describes how they are used in perception, production, imagery, and thought. He then explores how these representations determine the character of conscious awareness, arriving at the "Intermediate Level Theory" of consciousness, an account strikingly different from and more empirically adequate than the many previous theories examined in the book.

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  • A Generative Theory of Tonal Music

    Fred Lerdahl and Ray S. Jackendoff

    A search for a grammar of music with the aid of generative linguistics.

    A classic in music theory since its publication in 1981, this work models music understanding from the perspective of cognitive science. The point of departure is a search for a grammar of music with the aid of generative linguistics. The theory, which is illustrated with numerous examples from Western classical music, relates the aural surface of a piece to the musical structure unconsiously inferred by the experienced listener. From the viewpoint of traditional music theory, it offers many innovations in notatation as well as in the substance of rhythmic and reductional theory.

    • Hardcover $37.50 £28.95
    • Paperback $19.95 £14.95
  • Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar

    Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    A study of the contribution semantics makes to the syntactic patterns of English: an intepretive theory of grammar.

    Like other recent work in the field of generative-transformational grammar, this book developed from a realization that many problems in linguistics involve semantics too deeply to be solved insightfully within the syntactic theory of Noam Chomsky's Aspect of the Theory of Syntax. Dr Jackendoff has attempted to take a broader view of semantics, studying the important contribution it makes to the syntactic patterns of English.The research is carried out in the framework of an interpretive theory, that is, a theory of grammar in which syntactic structures are given interpretations by an autonomous syntactic component. The book investigates a wide variety of semantic rules, stating them in considerable detail and extensively treating their consequences for the syntactic component of the grammar. In particular, it is shown that the hypothesis that transformations do not change meaning must be abandoned; but equally stringent restrictions on transformations are formulated within the interpretive theory.Among the areas of grammar discussed are the well-known problems of case relations, pronominalization, negation, and quantifiers. In addition, the author presents semantic analyses of such neglected areas as adverbs and intonation contours; he also proposes radically new approaches to the so-called Crossover Principle, the control problem for complement subjects, parentheticals, and the interpretation of nonspecific noun phrases.

    • Paperback $45.00 £35.00
  • Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar

    Ray S. Jackendoff

    Like other recent work in the field of generative-transformational grammar, this book developed from a realization that many current problems in linguistics involve semantics too deeply to be solved insightfully within the syntactic theory of Noam Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Dr. Jackendoff has attempted to take a broader view of semantics, studying the important contribution it makes to the syntactic patterns of English.The research is carried out in the framework of an interpretive theory, that is, a theory of grammar in which syntactic structures are given interpretations by an autonomous semantic component. The book investigates a wide variety of semantic rules, stating them in considerable detail and extensively treating their consequences for the syntactic component of the grammar. In particular, it is shown that the hypothesis that transformations do not change meaning must be abandoned; but equally stringent restrictions on transformations are formulated within the interpretive theory.

    Among the areas of grammar discussed are the well-known problems of case relations, pronominalization, negation, and quantifiers. In addition, the author presents semantic analyses of such neglected areas as adverbs and intonation contours; he also proposes radically new approaches to the so-called Crossover Principle, the control problem for complement subjects, parentheticals, and the interpretation of nonspecific noun phrases.

    This book is the second to appear in the MIT Press series Studies in Linguistics, which is under the general editorship of Samuel Jay Keyser. The first, A Reader on the Sanskrit Grammarians, edited by J. F. Staal, was published in 1972.

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