Past Events

February 26, 2020 – Speaking on my book, How Language Began:
Presented by Harvard Book Store, the Harvard University Division of Science, and Cabot Science Library

Date: Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Event Start Time: 6:00pm

Harvard Science Center, Hall C
1 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

March 27, 2020 – Speaking at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver, B.C., Department of Philosophy. I will be discussing the concept of “universal grammar” as used by C.S. Peirce and Noam Chomsky, contrasting Peirce’s semeiotic approach with Chomsky’s grammatical approach to the nature and origins of human language, arguing that what eventually became Peirce’s “Speculative Grammar” is still the best and most profound theory of human language yet developed.

April 3, 2020 – Speaking at Cambridge University, England at a small invitation-only workshop on Human Time:
Title: Temporal Semantics and Grammar In Piraha~

June 21-23, 2020 – I will once again be at the invitation-only “mother of all conferences”, SciFoo Camp, in the GooglePlex at Mountain View California.

This conference brings together some 250 invitees from around the world, from Nobel Prize winners to entrepreneurs. It is always a privilege to receive an invitation to SciFoo, sponsored by Google, O’Reilly Media, Digital Science, and Nature. Here is some background information on SciFoo:

June, 2019: SciFoo Camp, Google Headquarters, Mountain View, CA. 

March, 2019: Colloquium at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver, B.C. “Towards a Semeiotic Archaeology”

February 16, 2018 – Flash talk at AAAS Annual meeting, Dallas, TX

February 18, 2018 – Colloquium, Department of Linguistics, University of Texas

March 05-20, 2018 – University of Vienna, lecture to general public and lecture to anthropology students; Slovakia, tour to promote Slovakian translation of Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes; Hungary, lectures at University of Szeged, Central European University, and Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

April 21-27, 2018 – University of Potsdam, Germany (talk at Einstein Forum on Tuesday, April 24 at 7 pm)

May 28 – June 1, 2018 – St Petersburg, Russia – conference on language development, disorders of language and comorbid conditions

June 22-14, 2018 – Googleplex, Mountain View, CA – for SciFoo.

July 17-19, 2018 – Eighth International Conference on Language, Culture and Mind (LCM 8), Denison University, Granville, Ohio

September 11-18, 2018 – Poznan Linguistics Conference (Plenary speaker)

Recent Lectures

October 10, 2017 – ‘How Language Began“, TEDx San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

August 2-6, 2017 – Sci Foo Camp, Googleplex, Mountainview, CA

April 1, 2017 – “Wisdom from Strangers: How we learn most from people least like us“, Rise and Run: TEDx Penn, Pennsylvania State University, Pittsburgh, PA

March 29, 2017 – “On the emergence of grammar from culture“, keynote at the 30th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Cambridge, MA

March 22 – 25, 2017 – Lectures on linguistics, Piraha life, and missionary culture at the Socratic Institute, Zaježka Community, Central Slovakia

March 21, 2017 – “Piraha culture and language”, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

February 27, 2017 – “Culture and the Emergence of Languages”, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

September 19, 2016 – “Language: the Cultural Tool”, University of Szeged, Hungary

September 15, 2016 – “Homo erectus and the Semiotic progression”, Poznań Linguistic Meeting, Poland

August 8, 2016 – “Homo erectus and the Semiotic progression“, 8th Annual Conference in Evolutionary Linguistics, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

March 14, 2016 – ‘The implausibility of universal grammar’ and ‘Cultures of business and educational fusion’, University of Alagoas, Maceió, Brazil

September 25, 2015 – ‘Dark Matter of the Mind’ and Monolingual Demonstration, the Institute for Cognitive Science, University of Colorado, Boulder

May 27, 2015 – ‘Nonrecursive, nonendocentric, and nonbinary structures in Amazonian languages: Counterexamples vs. exceptions’, Bangor  University, North Wales

May 24, 2015 – ‘Demons Among Us’ (solo talk) and ‘Mind, Matter and the Self’ Academy Course, HowTheLightGetsIn festival – the Institute of Arts and Ideas, Hay-on-Wye, United Kingdom

March 28, 2015 – ‘Nonrecursive, nonendocentric, and nonbinary structures in Amazonian languages: Counterexamples vs. exceptions’ UNC Chapel Hill

December 11, 2014 – ‘On the Role of Culture in the Emergence of Language’, Columbia University, New York, New York

November 28, 2014 – ‘Tacit Knowledge: How We Come to Know Things That We Cannot Tell’, Nordic Intercultural Communication Conference, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

November 14, 2014 – ‘Numerical Cognition in Piraha’, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

November 13, 2014 – ‘Dark Matter of the Mind”, the Einstein Forum, Potsdam, Germany

November 11, 2014 – ‘On the role of culture in the emergence of language.’ University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

November 5, 2014 – Pennsylvania State University

September 25, 2014- “Recursion and the Evolution of Language and Thought”, Osaka University, Japan

September 22, 2014 – “Culture and Grammar in a Functional-Based Linguistics”, Nagoya University, Japan

September 19-20, 2014 – “On the Role of Culture in the Emergence of Grammar”, Keynote speech at Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Association, Keio University, Tokyo

August 26-28, 2014 – 3rd Coloquio Internacional de Estudos Linguisticos e Literarios, Universidade Estadual de Maringa – PR

July 19, 2014 –  International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, Reims, France

May 29, 2014 –  ‘Dark Matter of the Mind‘, HowTheLightGetsIn festival – the Institute of Arts and Ideas, Hay-on-Wye, United Kingdom

May 11, 2014 – Martin Buber Society, Jerusalem

September 30-October 2, 2013 – “Shaping the Future of Business Education”, EFMD’s 2013 Conference: Undergraduate Management Education, St. Petersburg State University, Russia

September 26-27, 2013 – “A Reconsideration of the Reification of Linguistics”, The Cognitive Revolution, 60 Years at the British Academy in London

September 12-14, 2013 – “Why there is no innate universal grammar”, Multilingualism Symposium, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

August 3-6, 2013 – “Controversies and Dialog Among the Pirahas”, World Congress of Philosophy, Athens, Greece

July 22, 2013 – “Observações sobre a marcação de tempo em linguas naturais”, University of Brasilia

July 3-5, 2013 – 2013 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute: Universality and Variability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Links to LSA’s Monolingual demonstration & Grammar of Happiness Q&A

April 29, 2013 – ‘Towards Ethnogrammar’, Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, Germany

April 26, 2013 – SMART CS Debate on Language, Recursion and Cognition and ‘Language and Culture’ lecture, University of Amsterdam

April 10, 2013 – ‘Cultural Effects on Grammar’. UC Irvine, CA

April 9, 2013 – ‘Cultural Effects on Grammar’.California State University, Long Beach, CA

April 8, 2013 – ’Cultural Effects on Grammar’. UC San Diego, CA

April 7, 2013 – ‘Language: the Cultural Tool‘ Author Talk at Cohasset Public Library, Cohasset, MA

March 26-29, 2013 – ‘Language, Culture, and Being Human’. Lake Forest Academy, Lake Forest, IL

February 8th, 2013- ‘Towards Ethnogrammar: A New Research Program’. 5th Biennial Meeting of the Rice Linguistics Society, Rice University, Houston, TX

September 28, 2012 – ‘Quotatives in Wari’ and Piraha: different strategies for reporting the contents of other minds’, Quotation Workshop: Perspectives from Philosophy and Linguistics, Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany

September 11, 2012 – ‘Language, Culture and Being Human’, Connecticut College, New London, CT

August 1, 2012 – ‘Life and Language in the Amazon Jungle: The Difficult Task of Understanding Others’, Revisioning the Americas through indigenous Cinema, INRS, Montreal, Canada

May 24-27, 2012 – ‘Language, Culture and Being Human’. Annual Meeting of the Association for Psychological Science in Chicago, IL.

May 17, 2012 – ‘Language, the Cultural Tool’, Colloquium: “Exploring the Syntax-Semantics Interface” Heinrich-Heine-Universitat, Dusseldorf, Germany

May 15, 2012 – ‘Language, the Cultural Tool’, Leiden University, Netherlands.

April 2, 2012 -’ Language: The Cultural Tool’ (with Commentary by Daniel Dor, Department of Communication, TAU; Ewa Jablonka, Cohen Institute, TAU) Cohen Institute, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

March 22, 2012 – ‘Language, Culture and Being Human’, London School of Economics, London, England.

March 20, 2012 – ‘Language, the Cultural Tool’, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, England.

March 20, 2012 – General Public Talk and Q&A, LRB Bookshop, London, England.

March 19, 2012 – ‘Language, Culture and Being Human,’ Manchester University, England.

March 15, 2012 – ‘Life and Language in the Amazon,’ Eton College, England.

March 13, 2012 – ‘Cognitive Fire: How Language Emerges to Serve Human Needs,’ Annual Richmond Lecture, Oakley Center, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.

January 9-20, 2012 – ‘Field Methods,’ The National Winter Linguistics Course LOT; Tilburg University, The Netherlands.

January 05-08, 2012 – Linguistic Society of American Annual Meeting, Portland, OR