Nature and Origin of Language

Nature and Origin of Language

by Denis Bouchard
     
 

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This book looks at how the human brain got the capacity for language and how language then evolved. Its four parts are concerned with different views on the emergence of language, with what language is, how it evolved in the human brain, and finally how this process led to the properties of language. Part I considers the main approaches to the subject and how far

Overview

This book looks at how the human brain got the capacity for language and how language then evolved. Its four parts are concerned with different views on the emergence of language, with what language is, how it evolved in the human brain, and finally how this process led to the properties of language. Part I considers the main approaches to the subject and how far language evolved culturally or genetically. Part II argues that language is a system of signs and considers how these elements first came together in the brain. Part III examines the evidence for brain mechanisms to allow the formation of signs. Part IV shows how the book's explanation of language origins and evolution is not only consistent with the complex properties of languages but provides the basis for a theory of syntax that offers insights into the learnability of language and to the nature of constructions that have defied decades of linguistic analysis, including including subject-verb inversion in questions, existential constructions, and long-distance dependencies.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a highly interesting, well-researched and well-written book. I would recommend it to researchers and students interested in the study of language evolution." —The Linguist List

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199681624
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
11/19/2013
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Denis Bouchard is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Quebec in Montreal. His publications include On the Content of Empty Categories (Foris Publications, 1984), Adjectives, Number and Interfaces (Elsevier Science, 2002), and The Semantics of Syntax (University of Chicago Press, 1995).

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