Jean-louis Dessalles

My research focuses on the quest for fundamental principles underlying the language faculty and its biological origins. I am particularly interested in the study of narrative interest and argumentative relevance, and in the conditions that make honest communication among selfish agents possible (to explain the evolutionary emergence of language).

[Online papers]    [Teaching]    [Books]    [Media and popular science]


Article dans LA RECHERCHE: Comment nous optimisons nos signaux sociaux

Intervention dans le cadre des "Mystères du XXI° siècle": L’origine controversée du langage



Online papers sorted by date and by topic

Interviews in the media and popular science papers

Talks(past and future)



Simplicity Theory
Evolutionary origins of language
Cognitive modelling of interest in conversational narrives
Cognitive modelling of relevance in argumentative discussions
Cognitive modelling of the two conversational modes
Cognitive modelling of meaning
Cognitive modelling of emotional intensity
Cognitive modelling of concept learning
Qualia cannot be epiphenomenal (but the expl. gap is intact)
Emergence as complexity drop

     See also:    

Simplicity Theory



La pertinence
et ses origines cognitives

nouvelles théories
Hermes-sciences, Paris : 2008


Les origines de la culture:
les origines du langage
(avec P. Picq et B. Victorri)
Le Pommier, Paris: 2006


Why We Talk
The evolutionary origins of language
Oxford University Press: 2007


Aux origines du langage
Une histoire naturelle de la parole
Hermes-sciences, Paris: 2000


L’ordinateur génétique
Hermes-sciences, Paris: 1996





See also: