Re: Physiological basis to Linguistic

William Calvin (
28 Dec 1994 06:26:41 GMT (Steve Sohn) writes:

>Is anybody doing any work on a physiological basis for
>linguistic differentiation? One realizes that this might be an

There has always been a neurological literature on stroke patients with
seemingly different localizations for two languages, but the best stuff
is from electrical stimulation of the brain surface during neurosurgery
under local anesthetic. See, for example:
W. H. Calvin & G. A. Ojemann
Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought
and Language
Addison-Wesley 1994
There is a Web link from my home page:
though it doesn't include the chapter on the bilingual patients.
Essentially, the language cortex probably self-organizes during early
childhood, and you wind up with some reglional specialization that is
idiosyndratic. Different areas for English and Spanish (but also regions
where electrical stimulation disrupts either) seems to be one result.

William H. Calvin
University of Washington, NJ-15
Seattle WA 98195 USA