LINGUIST List 9.1019

Thu Jul 9 1998

FYI: New archive, Address correction, Gesture

Editor for this issue: Brett Churchill <>


  • Bob Binnick, Soliciting items for Web archive
  • Michael Newman, teach-ling wrong address
  • Robin Allott, Gesture and Language

    Message 1: Soliciting items for Web archive

    Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 15:38:08 -0400
    From: Bob Binnick <>
    Subject: Soliciting items for Web archive

    In conjunction with a project developing an annotated bibliography of current research on tense, grammatical aspect, Aktionsart, and related areas, I am setting up a Web site


    which will contain a bibliography and an archive of research papers and the like. I am inviting scholars working in this area to submit notices of upcoming publications and current research papers, and/or items for the archive in either electronic or hard copy form. Archive items should be accompanied by some form of release and an indication of any restrictions on dissemination or use of the item. For further information, check the Web page or contact

    - Robert Binnick

    Message 2: teach-ling wrong address

    Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 09:13:08 -0500
    From: Michael Newman <>
    Subject: teach-ling wrong address

    I would like to thank Suzanne Fletcher for reannouncing teach-ling. However, the address given was incorrect. It was changed last Sept. from


    The command is also different. To subscribe you need to only say


    Listfully yours, Michael Newman, listowner

    Message 3: Gesture and Language

    Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 09:32:25 +0100
    From: Robin Allott <>
    Subject: Gesture and Language

    Recent work of Rizzolatti, Arbib and Gallese at the University of Parma, the discovery of mirror neurons in the premotor cortex, has suggested how directly gesture and language could be related in the evolution and functioning of the brain. See 'Language within our grasp' [Trends in Neuroscience 1998 May;21(5):188-194 Rizzolatti and Arbib]. "These neurons (mirror neurons) appear to represent a system that matches observed events to similar, internally generated actions, and in this way forms a link between the observer and the actor. Transcranial magnetic stimulation and positron emission tomography (PET) experiments suggest that a mirror system for gesture recognition also exists in humans and includes Broca's area. We propose here that such an observation/execution matching system provides a necessary bridge from'doing' to'communicating',as the link between actor and observer becomes a link between the sender and the receiver of each message".

    Movement, including gesture, is imaged in the brain before a movement is executed; imagined movement stimulates the same neurons as are active in executing a movement. The mirror neurons respond in a similar way to perceived external movement (that is, also to perceived gesture). Along with MRI and PET scanning studies of brain language functions, this work lends new support to the motor theory of language origin and development based on the close integration in the brain of motor control, visual perception and articulation.

    For the relation proposed between gesture and language as part of the motor theory, see the paper 'Gestural Equivalence (Equivalents) of Language' presented at the Berkeley meeting of the Language Origins Society:

    Robin Allott email: tel/fax: +44 1323 492300