Dr. Pierre Pica, PhD - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Dr. Pierre Pica

PhD

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Paris | France

Main Specialties: Other

Additional Specialties: Linguistics

ORCID logohttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9452-5446


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Dr. Pierre Pica, PhD - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

Dr. Pierre Pica

PhD

Introduction

Pierre Pica (born January 5, 1951), is a research associate (Chargé de Recherche) at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. Visiting Professor with the Brain Institute of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, he is a specialist in theoretical linguistics and more specifically of comparative syntax.

Dr. Pica has concentrated his research on the notion of parameters in linguistic. He has also shown that the respective properties of reflexive pronouns could be derived from their morphological properties. He is currently studying the distinction between the internal and external aspects of the Faculty of language and is also working on a fine grained distinction between competence and linguistic performance.

Over the last twenty years, Pica has risen to prominence as a result of his work on Binding Theory and evidentiality. More recently he has been working on Mundurucu (an indigenous language spoken in Para (Brazil). He is currently collaborating with Stanislas Dehaene and Elizabeth Spelke in a study of numerical expressions and enumeration in Mundurucu. This research stresses the importance of these data for the study of the interaction of the Language Faculty and restricted set of pre-verbal 'core knowledge'. This research which stresses the importance of the notion of culture gap, as defined by Kenneth Hale (1975)'s seminal work, stands in opposition to the hypothesis related to relativism as derived from Sapir and Whorf in that it tends to demonstrate that knowledge, even culture, can in part be reduced to a small set of universal principles and intuitions. The research has given rise to a series of publications in Science magazine.

Primary Affiliation: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - Paris , France

Specialties:

Additional Specialties:

Research Interests:


View Dr. Pierre Pica’s Resume / CV

Education

Jan 1986 - Sep 1998
Université of Paris 8
Doctorat de 3 eme Cycle
Linguistique
Jan 1988 - Dec 1988
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral fellow
Linguistics

Experience

Jan 2016 - Sep 2012
Instituto Dor
Pesquisador associado
Pesquisa
Jan 2014 - Sep 2012
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
Pesquisador
Instituto do Cérebro
Jan 1996 - Dec 1996
Universidade de Brasília
Professor visitante
Lali
Jan 2012 - Jul 1995
Universiteit Leiden
Associate Researcher
Linguistics
Jan 1990 - Jan 1994
Université du Québec à Montréal
Chercheur Associé
Linguistique
Jan 1985 - Jan 1987
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Visiting Scholar
Linguistics & Philosophy
Jan 1974 - Oct 1974
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Research felow
UMR 7023

Publications

18Publications

231Reads

873Profile Views

Education enhances the acuity of the nonverbal approximate number system.

Psychol Sci 2013 Jun 26;24(6):1037-43. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, INSERM, Gif sur Yvette, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797612464057DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4648254PMC
June 2013
13 Reads

Non-symbolic halving in an Amazonian indigene group.

Dev Sci 2013 May;16(3):451-62

Department of Psychology, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/desc.12037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4063206PMC
May 2013
9 Reads

Comparing biological motion perception in two distinct human societies.

PLoS One 2011 14;6(12):e28391. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Unité Mixte de Recherche 7023, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Saint-Denis, France.

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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028391PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3237441PMC
August 2012
7 Reads
3.234 Impact Factor

Geometry as a universal mental construction

Space, Time and Number in the Brain,

This chapter discusses whether the spatial content of formal Euclidean geometry is universally present in the way humans perceive space or whether it is a mental construction, specific to those who have received appropriate instruction. Contrary to adults, the categorization of parallel lines by young children does not rely on a rich conceptual theory of geometry. It probably relies on perceptual properties of parallel lines, such as the fact that the distance between them is constant, the fact that the two parallel segments look identical, or the fact that parallelism represents a singular point in angle values. Under the framework of transformational geometry, Euclidean geometry can be conceived as a list of embedded theories, which differ by the types of features they make explicit. Briefly, in all versions of Euclidean theory, angle and length proportions are defining features of figures, while position or orientations are not …

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December 2011
33 Reads

Flexible intuitions of Euclidean geometry in an Amazonian indigene group.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 Jun 23;108(24):9782-7. Epub 2011 May 23.

Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception, Université Paris Descartes, 75006 Paris, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1016686108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3116380PMC
June 2011
33 Reads
9.810 Impact Factor

[The mapping of numbers on space: evidence for an original logarithmic intuition].

Med Sci (Paris) 2008 Dec;24(12):1014-6

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/medsci/200824121014DOI Listing
December 2008
4 Reads
0.520 Impact Factor

Exact Equality and Successor Function: Two Key Concepts on the Path towards understanding Exact Numbers.

Philos Psychol 2008 Aug;21(4):491

Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge MA02138, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09515080802285354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2822407PMC
August 2008
42 Reads

Theoretical Implications of the Study of Numbers and Numerals in Mundurucu

Philos Psychol 2008 Aug;21(4):507

Philosophical Psychology

  • Developing earlier studies of the system of numbers in Mundurucu, this paper argues that the Mundurucu numeral system is far more complex than usually assumed. The Mundurucu numeral system provides indirect but insightful arguments for a modular approach to numbers and numerals. It is argued that distinct components must be distinguished, such as a system of representation of numbers in the format of internal magnitudes, a system of representation for individuals and sets, and one-to-one correspondences between the numerosity expressed by the number and its metrics. It is shown that while many-number systems involve a compositionality of units, sets and sets composed of units, few-number languages, such as Mundurucu, do not have access to sets composed of units in the usual way. The nonconfigurational character of the Mundurucu language, which is related to a property for which we coin the term ‘low compositionality power’, accounts for this and explains the curious fact that Mundurucus make use of marked one-to-one correspondence strategies in order to overcome the limitations of the core system at the perceptual/motor interface of the language faculty. We develop an analysis of a particular construction, parallel numbers, which has not been studied before, elucidating the whole system. This analysis, we argue, sheds new light on classical philosophical, psychological and linguistic debates about numbers and numerals and their relation to language, and more particularly, sheds light on few-number languages.

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August 2008
3 Reads

Log or linear? Distinct intuitions of the number scale in Western and Amazonian indigene cultures.

Science 2008 May;320(5880):1217-20

INSERM, Cognitive Neuro-imaging Unit, Institut Fédératif de Recherche (IFR) 49, Gif sur Yvette, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1156540DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2610411PMC
May 2008
44 Reads
31.480 Impact Factor

Quels sont les liens entre arithmétique et langage. Une étude en Amazonie

Cahier de l'Herne Chomsky

s calculation possible without language ? Or is the human ability for arithmetic dependent on the language faculty ? To clarify the relation between language and arithmetic, we studied numerical cognition in speakers of Munduruku, an Amazonian language with a very lexicon of number words. This state of affairs we claim can be understood in a model where the distinction between performance and competence is at work.

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January 2007
3 Reads

Core knowledge of geometry in an Amazonian indigene group.

Science 2006 Jan;311(5759):381-4

INSERM-CEA Cognitive Neuroimaging Unit, Service Hospitalier Frédéric Joliot, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, 91401 Orsay Cedex, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1121739DOI Listing
January 2006
40 Reads
31.480 Impact Factor

Exact and approximate arithmetic in an Amazonian indigene group.

Science 2004 Oct;306(5695):499-503

Unité Mixte de Recherche 7023 "Formal Structures of Language," CNRS and Paris VIII University, Paris, France.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.1102085DOI Listing
October 2004
39 Reads
31.480 Impact Factor

On the Syntax and Semantics of Local Anaphors in French and English

Projections and Interface Conditions

Local anaphors in French and in English have a variety of lexical and morhpological properties that are unexpected on conventional approaches to Binding Theory. We propose an account in which these characteristics follow from the fact that reflexives are essentially pronominals. On our approach, Principle B is the core of Binding Theory, and the surprising properties of local anaphors derive from the need for local anaphors to escape Principle B. We argue that all local anaphors are bimorphemic (sometimes in contrast to surface appearances), and that this structure is related to a semantics of ‘partition’ by which local anaphors escape Principle B. In support of these views we present a variety of facts that follow in a natural way from our syntactic and semantic proposals, but which to our knowledge have not previously been explained within the framework of generative grammar. Our theory is shown to have a modular character, comprising distinct contributions of Principle B, the morphological structure of local anaphors, and the broader architecture of human cognition

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August 1997
29 Reads

Weak Crossover, Scope, and Agreement in a Minimalist Framework

Proceedings of the 13th West Coast Conference in Linguistics

Our paper presents a novel theory of weak crossover effects, based entirely on quantifier scope preferences and their consequences for variable binding. The structural notion of 'crossover' play no role. We develop a theory of scope preferences which ascribes a central role to the AGR-P System.

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July 1995
30 Reads

The Case for Reflexive or Reflexive for Case

Proceedings from the 26th Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society

It is claimed that the English genitive marker 's' suprisingly mirrors- at least in some dialects of English - the three main different usage of the mono-morphemic reflexives such as 'se' in French. A solution to this paradox already noted by Jespersen (1918) is proposed drawing on Watkins paradox according to which the study of what looks like 'social' parameters might be relevant for linguistics.

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January 1990
26 Reads

On the Nature of the Reflexivization Cycle

Proceedings of the North Eastern Linguistic Society

Abstract : This article claims that one has to distinguish between X° reflexives which do not bear phi-features, such as number, and XP complex reflexive - which do bear such features. The presence/vs absence of features, it is argued, explains the behaviour of so called long distance reflexives - first observed, within the generative tradition, in Scandinavian languages - but present all over. The observation according to which XP reflexives are clause bound, while X° reflexives in argument position are not, is some times referred to as "Pica's generalisation" (see Burzio (1987) which stressed correctly that is was the first time that such a correlation between reflexives structure, binding domains, and the role of a cycle was observed. The behaviour of reflexives it is argued derives from the properties of abstract movement at the level of Logical Form.

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July 1987
47 Reads

On the distinction between argumental and non-argumental anaphors

Authors:
Pierre Pica

Sentential complementation

We claim that the Binding Theory has to be modified in order to account for the fact that certain anaphors ate subject to a condition equivalent to the Specified Subject Condition while others are not and that anaphors in argument positions and anaphors in non argument positions are respectively subject to two different locality conditions.

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December 1984
4 Reads

Subject, tense and truth: Towards a modular approach to binding

Authors:
Pierre pica

Grammatical Representation

Abstract : We propose a reformulation of Binding Theory according to which three different domains defined in terms of Subject, Tense, and Truth Value apply to respectively three different types of elements : anaphors in non argument positions, anaphors in argument position, and variables bound by wh-elements, hereby, suggesting that a drastic revision of the Government and Binding framework is necessary.

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December 1984
3 Reads

Following

Susan Carey
Susan Carey

Harvard University

Elizabeth S Spelke
Elizabeth S Spelke

Harvard University

Arlette Streri
Arlette Streri

Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception

Lisa Feigenson
Lisa Feigenson

Johns Hopkins University

Charles R Gallistel
Charles R Gallistel

Rutgers University

David Poeppel
David Poeppel

New York University

Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge

Stephen Crain
Stephen Crain

Macquarie University

Robert C Berwick
Robert C Berwick

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge

Andrea Moro
Andrea Moro

Scientific Institute San Raffaele

Ian Tattersall
Ian Tattersall

Columbia University Medical Center

Marc D Hauser
Marc D Hauser

Harvard University