Language and Species

Overview

Language and Species presents the most detailed and well- documented scenario to date of the origins of language. Drawing on "living linguistic fossils" such as "ape talk," the "two-word" stage of small children, and pidgin languages, and on recent discoveries in paleoanthropology, Bickerton shows how a primitive "protolanguage" could have offered Homo erectus a novel ecological niche. He goes on to demonstrate how this protolanguage could have developed into the languages we speak today.

"You are drawn into ...

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Overview

Language and Species presents the most detailed and well- documented scenario to date of the origins of language. Drawing on "living linguistic fossils" such as "ape talk," the "two-word" stage of small children, and pidgin languages, and on recent discoveries in paleoanthropology, Bickerton shows how a primitive "protolanguage" could have offered Homo erectus a novel ecological niche. He goes on to demonstrate how this protolanguage could have developed into the languages we speak today.

"You are drawn into [Bickerton's] appreciation of the dominant role language plays not only in what we say, but in what we think and, therefore, what we are."--Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review

"The evolution of language is a fascinating topic, and Bickerton's Language and Species is the best introduction we have."--John C. Marshall, Nature Derek Bickerton is professor of linguistics at the University of Hawaii and is the author of several books including Roots of Language.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Bickerton linguistics, U. of Hawaii explores links between language and evolution. What results is a new understanding of how to account for the origins of language. And, from that understanding, insights into how and why we have succeeded--and failed--to shape our world and structure society, why we wage war and make peace. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226046112
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 305
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Derek Bickerton is professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Hawaii and is the author of several books, including Roots of Language.
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Table of Contents


Preface
Introduction
1. The Continuity Paradox
2. Language as Representation: The Atlas
3. Language as Representation: The Itineraries
4. The Origins of Representational Systems
5. The Fossils of Language
6. The World of the Protolanguage
7. From Protolanguage to Language
8. Mind, Consciousness, and Knowledge
9. The Nature of the Species
Epilogue
Notes
References
Index
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