Shane Glackin at the Biological Interest Group – Monday 23rd May, 2-3pm, Byrne House

Dear all,

You are invited to the next meeting of the Biological Interest Group. It will take place this coming Monday 23rd of May. The meeting will be held in the seminar room at Byrne House, from 2-3pm. Participants can bring food and drinks if they wish.

Next week we are very pleased to receive the visit of Shane Glackin, from Exeter, discussing his paper “Rule-following and the Evolution of Public Language”. Shane kindly sent us a short description of the paper and how we might help:

“I gave a much earlier version of this paper at a Department seminar some time ago; apologies to anybody it seems overly familiar to. I had originally intended to present something else here, but it isn’t anywhere near ready.

To cut a long story short, I’m having trouble with journal referees. It keeps getting split reports, where one referee recommends acceptance, and the other rejection. The grounds for rejection have ranged from the hilariously vituperative (“as stupid as it is offensive”; the combination of anonymity and Chomskyans’ feverish defense of the Dear Leader doesn’t make for terribly pleasant reading) to the more reasonable. The big sticking point at present seems to be the amount of expository work the paper goes through. There’s a lot (occasionally, the same referee who complains will also ask for more…), but my feeling is that that is necessary; the paper brings together at least three different literatures, and few potential readers will be familiar with them all. Even with it all there, not really understanding the dialectical situation has been evident in a few reviewers’ comments. So that’s one thing feedback would be really helpful on; is it all necessary, and if not what might profitably be cut? And the other which arises from this; *is* the background, dialectical situation, etc. easy enough to follow?

The paper is also pretty long, which limits the number of journals available to it. So again, ideas on what might be taken out (and what should not) would be helpful.”

Please contact Thomas Bonnin (tb391 [at] if you wish to join the group or for any other information.


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