Jackendoff, Ray (Saul) 1945-
JACKENDOFF, Ray (Saul) 1945-
(Ray S. Jackendoff)
PERSONAL: Born January 23, 1945, in Chicago, IL; son of Nathaniel (a professor) and Elaine (a guidance counselor; maiden name, Flanders) Jackendoff; married Hildy Dvorak, 2001; children: Amy, Beth. Education: Swarthmore College, B.A., 1965; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 1969. Religion: Jewish.
ADDRESSES: Home—79 Goden St., Belmont, MA 02478-2934. Office—Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham, MA 02454. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of California, Los Angeles, lecturer in English, 1969-70; Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, assistant professor, 1971-73, associate professor, 1973-78, professor of linguistics, 1978—. Clarinet soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, 1980.
MEMBER: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Linguistic Society of America, Society for Philosophy and Psychology (president, 1990-91), North East Linguistic Society.
AWARDS, HONORS: Gustave O. Arlt Award from Council of Graduate Schools, 1974, for Semantic Interpretation in Generative Grammar; National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, 1978; Guggenheim fellow, 1993-94; fellow of Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 1999-2000; Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected 1999; Jean Nicod Prize in Cognitive Philosophy, Jean Nicod Institute, 2003.
UNDER NAME RAY JACKENDOFF, EXCEPT AS NOTED
(As Ray S. Jackendoff) Semantic Interpretation inGenerative Grammar, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1972.
X Syntax: A Study of Phrase Structure, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1977.
(With Fred Lerdahl) A Generative Theory of TonalMusic, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1982.
Semantics and Cognition, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1983.
Consciousness and the Computational Mind, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1987.
Semantic Structures, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1990.
Languages of the Mind: Essays on Mental Representation, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1992.
Patterns in the Mind: Language and Human Nature, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1994.
The Architecture of the Language Faculty, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1997.
(Editor, with Paul Bloom and Karen Wynn) Language,Logic, and Concepts: Essays in Memory of John Macnamara, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 1999.
Member of editorial board, Music Perception, Cognitive Science, and other professional journals. A Generative Theory of Tonal Music has been translated into German.
SIDELIGHTS: Professor of linguistics (and sometime clarinetist) Ray Jackendoff has published a number of works in his field. His 2002 study, Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution, takes up where the studies of the famed linguist Noam Chomsky left off. Chomsky's view—that the acquisition of language was essentially separate from other human cognitive apparatus—revolutionized the science. Two generations later, Jackendoff theorized that "linguistics is critically important to the study of the mind, and that the basic ideas underlying Chomsky's approach are correct," in the words of a fellow linguist, David Adger. Writing for the Times Literary Supplement, Adger continued: "However, Jackendoff is more than willing to compromise about what he sees as the mistakes of theoretical linguistics; his diagnosis is that theoretical linguistics became too obsessed with syntax, thinking it could do everything for us." Indeed, Jackendoff "is not a typical Chomskyan," said Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy in the American Scientist. "He is keen to build bridges between research on grammar pure and simple and research that involves modeling or exploring directly what happens in the brain when language is used."
To Science reviewer Merrill Garrett, the author "takes a two-pronged approach. Identifying core features of grammatical theory that must be preserved, he seeks to clarify their role in the contemporary scene." Such core theories include mentalism, combinatoriality (grammar rules) and nativism, the latter of which is based on the idea that language arises "from [an] innately specified mental structure," as Garrett wrote. Jackendoff "also identifies flaws in foundational assumptions that he believes must be changed. He wants to recast the architecture of grammatical theory to achieve greater coherence within linguistics and to more effectively embrace psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics." Jackendoff's views, moreover, are not exactly new. Garrett envisioned linguists saying, "Well, this is what I've been saying for years. What's the big deal?" The difference, he said, is that the author articulates the views "in a systematic way that ties the components of formal linguistic theory to the broader issues in human cognition."
Carstairs-McCarthy found Foundations of Language accessible to readers with a basic foundation in linguistics. "Readers with no such training but some knowledge of cognitive science or psychology may find it harder going but still rewarding." The reviewer felt Jackendoff's "breadth of knowledge and soundness of judgment, along with just the right amount of adventurousness, make for a book that deserves to be read and reread by anyone seriously interested in the state of the art of research on language." Adger wondered if Jackendoff's book "will achieve its goal." He thought linguists "will perhaps be unhappy with the diagnosis," and added his view that "Jackendoff's proposals are not worked out in detail, and those of a truly syntactocentric persuasion will probably be irritated at the lack of attention to work in this paradigm over the past ten years." Still, Adger decided that Foundations of Language had value in igniting dialogue on the topic: "Maybe we [linguists] could meet at the pub a little more often; and we could do worse than talk about this book when we get there."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Scientist, July, 1995, review of Patterns in the Mind: Language and Human Nature, p. 378; July-August, 2002, Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, "Syntax and Semantics," p. 376.
Booklist, December 15, 1993, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 728.
Canadian Philosophical Reviews, February, 1989, review of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, p. 53.
Choice, February, 1988, review of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, p. 973; March, 1993, review of Languages of the Mind: Essays on Mental Representation, p. 1248; July, 1994, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 1743.
Contemporary Psychology, December, 1984, review of Semantics and Cognition, p. 949; January, 1989, review of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, p. 15; April, 2001, review of Language, Logic, and Concepts: Essays in Memory of John Macnamara, p. 200.
Journal of Linguistics, March, 1999, Peter Culicover, review of The Architecture of the Language Faculty, p. 137.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1993, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 1439.
Language, December, 1998, Jean Aitchison, review of The Architecture of the Language Faculty, p. 850.
Language in Society, September, 1986, review of Semantics and Cognition, p. 441.
Library Journal, January, 1994, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 144; February 15, 2002, Marianne Orme, review of Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution, p. 143.
London Review of Books, June 23, 1994, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 6, 1994, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 3.
Natural History, October, 1994, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 70.
New Scientist, March 16, 2002, Eric Haeberli, "What's That You Said?," p. 53.
Philosophical Review, January, 1985, review of Semantics and Cognition, p. 111.
Quarterly Review of Biology, March, 1999, Jeffrey Cynx, review of The Architecture of the Language Faculty, p. 117.
Review of Metaphysics, September, 1988, review of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, p. 147.
Science, March 25, 1988, review of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, p. 1546; June 28, 2002, Merrill Garrett, "New Vines on Old Roots," p. 2341.
Science News, March 30, 2002, review of Foundations of Language, p. 207.
SciTech Book News, January, 1988, review of Consciousness and the Computational Mind, p. 2; January, 1993, review of Languages of the Mind, p. 1.
Times Higher Education Supplement, February 15, 2002, Roy Harris, "Looking in for the Meaning Without," p. 27.
Times Literary Supplement, October 2, 1992, review of Semantic Structures, p. 24; June 21, 2002, David Adger, "Time to Talk Things Over?," p. 36.
University Press Book News, June, 1991, review of Semantic Structures, p. 27.
Washington Post Book World, July 24, 1994, review of Patterns in the Mind, p. 8.