The University of Arizona

SISTA Colloquium Details

Monday, April 25, 2011

12:00 – 12:50 p.m.

Marley Auditorium, Room 230


George Lakoff
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor of
Cognitive Science and Linguistics

University of California, Berkeley


Title: The Brain's Language: Embodied Cognitive and
Neural Linguistics Research Today


Abstract:  All thought and language is physical, carried out by neural circuitry in the brain. How does it work? How do you get meaningful concepts and complex language out of neurons in an embodied brain? Since there are no symbols in the brain, how do we get a precise and detailed nonsymbolic theory of concepts and language?


The Neural Theory of Language project at Berkeley has, for the past two decades, been putting together results from cognitive linguistics and neural computation into a single integrated theory that aims to answer these questions. This will be a nontechnical overview of where that research currently is.


The talk will include an introduction, with examples, to the basic ideas of cognitive and neural linguistics and how they fit together into an integrated theory of theoretical cognitive neuroscience.


The implications of this research for various disciplines will be discussed in general terms - not just linguistics, but also mathematics, philosophy, psychology, and literary studies. This talk forms the theoretical background for Professor Lakoff's lecture on politics at 5 pm.

Professor Lakoff will be available for detailed discussions between 1:30 and 4:00 pm.  Contact us if you would like to engage in such a discussion.


George Lakoff's Website:


Academic Bio: