How Special Is Language Production? Perspectives From Monitoring and Control

Nazbanou Nozari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In his seminal essay, “The Modularity of Mind” Fodor (1983), presents arguments in favor of language comprehension as a special module along with other input processing systems. His view on language production is less clear. In this chapter, I first demonstrate that language production and comprehension are quite similar when evaluated in light of Fodor's criteria for modules: both meet a subset of those criteria in that their behavior resembles automatic processing; neither, however, is informationally encapsulated. This partial conformity with the criteria for specialized modules, leaves the question “How special is language production?” unanswered. I will then propose that this question can be answered by re-examining the origin of what resembles the behavior of an automatic system. I will argue that language production is, in fact, an efficiently monitored and controlled system, and that such monitoring and control mechanisms are shared between language production and other systems. These domain-general mechanisms, however, operate on domain-specific representations, creating specialized monitoring-control loops that can be selectively trained and selectively damaged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
EditorsKara D. Federmeier, Duane G. Watson
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Pages179-213
Number of pages35
ISBN (Print)9780128150863
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NamePsychology of Learning and Motivation - Advances in Research and Theory
Volume68
ISSN (Print)0079-7421

Keywords

  • Cognitive control
  • Domain-generality
  • Language production
  • Modules
  • Monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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