Parlanti impossibili, plausibili, reali. Prospettive biolinguistiche in filosofia del linguaggio / Impossible, Possible and Real Speakers. Biolinguistic Perspectives in the Philosophy of Language

  • Antonino Pennisi
  • Alessandra Falzone
Keywords: Darwinian Biolinguistics, evolution of speech, performativity, cerebrocentrism, Evo-Devo


In the recent years Life Sciences have been a test in many fields that investigate specific human capacity. Cognitive science of language are animated by a debate on the role that the data coming from biology may play in the definition of mental functions. Classical cognitive science has led both to a dualism between mechanical-morphological components and psychic components (e.g. the typical chomskyan approach) and to a spasmodic search of those brain areas responsible for the “unique” capacity of human language (recursion syntax, semantic creativity, etc.) that could be called “cerebro-centrism”. In contrast with this classical paradigm, we support the idea that a “biological” perspective allows a more appropriate explanation of what language is and how it functions. In particular, by applying evolutionary developmental biology in the study of spoken language, we will show how the biological nature of the speaker could affect the type of the function. This approach can clarify some classical oppositions in the study of language evolution. The biology of the speaker, determined by all of the central and peripheral structures and social practices in which it is exercised, is the set of functional possibilities that the sapiens may present as a linguistic animal.


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How to Cite
Pennisi, A. and Falzone, A. (2016) “Parlanti impossibili, plausibili, reali. Prospettive biolinguistiche in filosofia del linguaggio / Impossible, Possible and Real Speakers. Biolinguistic Perspectives in the Philosophy of Language”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 00. Available at: (Accessed: 24January2021).

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