The Grammar of Genes

How the Genetic Code Resembles the Linguistic Code

by Angel Lopez-Garcia (Author)
©2005 Monographs 186 Pages


Mankind is the only speaking species on earth. Hence language is supposed to have a genetic basis, no matter whether it relies on general intelligence, or on a linguistic module. This study proposes that universal formal properties of the linguistic code emerged from the genetic code through duplication. The proportion of segmental duplication is clearly higher in the human genome than in any other species, and duplication took place 6 million years ago when humans separated from the other hominid branches. The evolution of language is therefore supposed to be a gradual process with a break. This book describes a lot of striking formal resemblances the genetic code and the linguistic code hold in common. The book aims to reconcile generative grammar with cognitive semiotics showing that both of them constitute instances of embodiment.


ISBN (Softcover)
Generative Grammatik Kognitive Semantik Genetic code Linguistic code Origin of language Cognitive semiotic Sprachlicher Code Generative grammar
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. 186 pp.

Biographical notes

Angel Lopez-Garcia (Author)

The Author: Ángel López-García is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Valencia (Spain), and he has been a visiting Professor at the universities of Virginia, Mainz, Minnesota, Tucumán and Aarhus. He helped to develop the Liminar Grammar model of Cognitive Linguistics as soon as 1980, and elaborated a series of applications to natural languages. He is the author of two dozens of books and some two hundred papers on Linguistics, Semiotics, and Communication. He received the Prix Honoré Chavée de l’Académie Française.


Title: The Grammar of Genes