Essentialism gives way to motivation

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The recognition that contentful universals are rare and often banal does not undermine the fact that most non-universal but recurring patterns of language are amenable to explanation. These patterns are sensical or motivated solutions to interacting and often conflicting factors. As implied by the Evans & Levinson's (E&L's) article, linguistics would be well served to move beyond the essentialist bias that seeks universal, innate, unchanging categories with rigid boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)455-456
Number of pages2
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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