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Presentation

CONGRESS MAIN TOPIC :

The language-cognition interface



2013, which falls exactly one hundred years after the death of Ferdinand de Saussure, affords a unique opportunity to look forward to the future of linguistics. Current research in every linguistic field shows that the link between linguistics and the cognitive sciences will significantly increase over the next decades. The emergence of non-invasive technologies for the observation of the brain, the change in statistical and experimental methods, the increasing amount of research in language acquisition and language pathology, as well as the more complex integration of pragmatic approaches to language use at the interface of syntax and semantics all point to an ever-growing link between language and human cognition. New interest has recently been sparked in such topics as the origins of language, and has given rise to a number of new hypotheses. Moreover, traditional domains of linguistics such as phonology, morphology, and synchronic and diachronic syntax now play an increasing role in cognitive studies, especially as related to questions of language acquisition.

The anniversary of Ferdinand de Saussure’s death will also be the opportunity to look back on the history of linguistics, particularly as concern the Saussure-Chomsky connection. Although one century is a short period in the history of the sciences, it is more than enough to honor the origins of what has become a mature scientific discipline.