Approaches to the Evolution of Language: Social and Cognitive Bases / Edition 1

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This is one of the first systematic attempts to bring language within the neo-Darwinian framework of modern evolutionary theory. Twenty-four coordinated essays by linguists, phoneticians, anthropologists, psychologists and cognitive scientists explore the origins of the complex structure of human language, emphasizing its social (as opposed to purely practical) bases, and showing the mechanisms by which this structure emerges, is maintained, and develops.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521639644
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction Michael Studdert-Kennedy, Chris Knight, and James R. Hurford; Part I. Grounding Language Function in Social Cognition: 1. Introduction: Grounding language function in social cognition Chris Knight; 2. On discontinuing the continuity-discontinuity debate Jean Aitchison; 3. The origin of language and cognition Ib Ulbaek; 4. Mimesis and the executive suite: missing links in language evolution Merlin Donald; 5. Ritual/speech co-evolution: a 'selfish gene' solution to the problem of deception Chris Knight; 6. Theory of mind and the evolution of language Robin Dunbar; 7. Old wives' tales: the gossip hypothesis and the reliability of cheap signals Camilla Power; 8. Altruism, status, and the origin of relevance Jean-Louis Dessalles; 9. The evolution of language from social intelligence Robert Worden; Part II. The Emergence of Phonology: 10. Introduction: the emergence of phonology Michael Studdert-Kennedy; 11. Long call structure in apes as a possible precursor for language Mária Ujhelyi; 12. Social sound-making as a precursor to spoken language John F. Locke; 13. The particulate origins of language generativity: from syllable to gesture Michael Studdert-Kennedy; 14. Evolution of the mechanisms of language output: comparative neurobiology of vocal and manual communication Peter MacNeilage; 15. Systemic constraints and adaptive change in the formation of sound structure Björn Lindblom; 16. The development of sound systems in human language Klaus J. Kohler; 17. Synonymy avoidance, phonology and the origin of syntax Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy; Part III. The Emergence of Syntax: 18. Introduction: the emergence of syntax James R. Hurford; 19. On the supposed 'counterfunctionality' of universal grammar: some evolutionary implications Frederick J. Newmeyer; 20. Language evolution and the minimalist program: the origins of syntax Robert C. Berwick; 21. Catastrophic evolution: the case for a single step from protolanguage to full human language Derek Bickerton; 22. Fitness and the selective adaptation of language Simon Kirby; 23. Synthesizing the origins of language and meaning using co-evolution, self-organization and level formation Luc Steels; 24. Computational simulations of the emergence of grammar John Batali.

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