San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The Director of the Italian Cultural Institute
is pleased to invite you to
The Boundaries of Babel. Reflections on Brain and Grammars
a lecture by
Monday, October 14th at 6:00 PM
"One of the major discoveries of modern linguistics is that languages cannot vary unboundedly: every grammar must meet some universal principles which generate an enormous but not infinite number of combinations in a modular way. The system is so complex that this underlying uniformity has escaped the attention of scholars for centuries. Only formal grammars have been able to arrive at this discovery in the last fifty years of research. A crucial question that naturally arises from this state of affairs is whether the limit of variation among grammars is accidental, cultural and conventional or biologically driven. Recent methodologies that allow us to explore the functioning of the brain in vivo have allowed us to approach this question in a new way. By testing the brain activity during the acquisition of artificial languages which violate the universal principles of grammar it has been possible to provide strong evidence in favour of a biological perspective to the mystery of the absence of entire classes of conceivable grammars." Andrea Moro
Andrea Moro (1962) is full professor of General Linguistics at the Institute for Advanced Study IUSS Pavia and director of the Research Center for Neurocognition and Theoretical Syntax (NeTS). Since 1988 - as a Fulbright student - he has been a visiting scientist at MIT and at Harvard University several times; in 1993 he obtained a "Diplôme d'études supérieures en théorie de la syntaxe et syntaxe comparative" at the Université de Genève. He lectured in many Universities in Europe, the USA and Japan, including the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, the Collège de France, NYU, the École Normale Supérieure, the University of Cambridge and the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig. His main fields of research are theoretical syntax and neurolinguistics. Among his books: The Raising of Predicates (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Dynamic Antisymmetry (MIT Press, 2000) and The Boundaries of Babel (MIT Press, 2008), Breve storia del verbo “essere” (Adelphi, 2010), Parlo dunque sono (Adelphi, 2012) and The Equilibrium of Human Syntax (Routledge, 2013); he also published several papers on international journals including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Linguistic Inquiry, Lingua and Nature Neuroscience.
A reception will follow. Reservations kindly suggested.
Please click here to see all of the Institute's upcoming events.
When & Where
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago
Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago
500 N Michigan Ave., Suite 1450
Chicago, IL 60611
Currently active in all the major cities of the five continents, the ninety Italian Cultural Institutes serve as an ideal meeting place for intellectuals, artists, and cultural operatives, as well as for ordinary citizens, both Italian and foreign, who wish to establish or maintain a relationship with our country. By acting not only as a showcase and source of current information on Italy, but also as a driving force behind initiatives and projects of cultural cooperation, the Italian Cultural Institute has become a focal point for both the Italian communities abroad and the growing demand for Italian culture throughout the world.
By extending the role of Embassies and Consulates, the Italian Cultural Institutes offer the most effective tools for promoting a worldwide image of Italy as a center of production, preservation, and dissemination of culture from the Classical Age until today. Along with organizing cultural events in a vast array of areas, including art, music, cinema, theatre, dance, fashion, design, and photography, the Italian Cultural Institutes:
- Offer the opportunity to learn Italian language and culture through the organization of courses, the management of libraries and the preparation of educational and editorial materials;
- Provide the networks and the premises to facilitate the integration of Italian operators in the process of cultural exchange and production at an international level;
- Provide information and logistic support to public and private cultural operators, both Italian and foreign;
- Continuously support initiatives aimed at promoting an intercultural dialogue based on the principles of democracy and international solidarity.