Modularity and Constraints in Language and Cognition

By Megan R. Gunnar; Michael Maratsos | Go to book overview
Save to active project

7 Beyond Modules

Jacqueline Goodnow Macquarie University

The several chapters in this volume have established a convincing case for the presence of modules of specialized--and possibly segmented--areas of knowledge and skill. I wish to start from the assumption that modules or constraints exist, and to ask: What follows? The specific three questions I raise have to do with (a) criteria for the inference of separate or dissimilar areas of knowledge or performance; (b) the nature of relations or connections among segmented areas; and (c) the implications of a concept of modules, constraints, or segments for developmental theory in general.


This question is the final form of a concern that arose early in the volume and went through several forms. My initial concern was with the meanings of several terms--constraints, specificity, domains, modules-- and the overlaps between them. This initial concern began to diminish in the course of Michael Maratsos' opening argument that these several concepts may be regarded as independent of one another (each does not imply the other). It shrank a little further with Ellen Markman's (chapter 3) use of "constraint" in the sense of a bias or predisposition, altering the probabilities of particular responses, Tom Bever's (chapter 6) analysis of various kinds of modules, and the several criteria offered by Carol Malatesta-Magai and Bruce Dorval (chapter 5), and Laura Petitto


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Modularity and Constraints in Language and Cognition


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 248

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?