Towards an integrated science of language

It has long been assumed that grammar is a system of abstract rules, that the world's languages follow universal patterns, and that we are born with a ‘language instinct’. But an alternative paradigm that focuses on how we learn and use language is emerging, overturning these assumptions and many more.

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N.C. was supported by ERC grant 295917-RATIONALITY, the ESRC Network for Integrated Behavioural Science (grant number ES/K002201/1), the Leverhulme Trust (grant number RP2012-V-022), and Research Councils UK Grant EP/K039830/1.

Author information


  1. Morten H. Christiansen is in the Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.

    • Morten H. Christiansen
  2. Nick Chater is at the Behavioural Science Group, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK.

    • Nick Chater


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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Morten H. Christiansen.