The internal, the external and the hybrid: The state of the art and a new characterization of language as a natural object
Sergio Balari, Guillermo Lorenzo
February 2018

The state of the art of the debate between externalist and internalist concepts of language is reviewed in this paper, and a new conceptualization of language as a “developmental hybrid” is suggested that entails that it equally comprises environmental and organism-internal component pieces, in an ultimately non dissociable way. The key for understanding this hybrid status is to be found in development, for when individually evolving, a general dynamic is observed in which organism-internal facilities selectively apply to certain designated aspects of the environmental stimulus, which in their turn have a facilitatory impact on these very same facilities. These kinds of loops inspire the conclusion that the internal and the external compose a single, integrated developmental unit.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/003865
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 3(1): 22. 1–33, DOI:
keywords: i-language, e-language, developmental hybrids, language development, biolinguistics, morphology, syntax
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