The ‘Recurrent + Recursive’ Linguistic Mind: ABABABA-Grammars and a Note on Child Syntax
Joseph Galasso
March 2023

It seems the human brain/mind is unique in its capacity to move from (i) a recurrent mental-processing through to (ii) a recursive mental-processing. Some scientists argue that this ‘uniquely human-species-specific capacity’ has emerged on our evolutionary scene as recently as 40KYA (thousand years ago). While there may be more general-cognitive and learning schemes tethered to such recursive processing (e.g., theory of mind, declarative vs procedural knowledge, etc.), on a pure linguistics footing, this recurrent + recursive progression defines what we find in the two stages of child language syntax—whereby a recurrent stage-1 manifests primary base-lexical stems (as well as the stacking of such bases), while the recursive stage-2 manifests movement-based operations (what was once termed the classic Lexical vs Functional dual stages of child syntax).
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Reference: lingbuzz/007176
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keywords: recurrent, recursive structure, syntax, child grammars, abababa-grammars, brain-language mapping, syntax
previous versions: v1 [September 2022]
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