The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Social Function and the Origins of Linguistic Form / Edition 1

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The Evolutionary Emergence of Language covers the origins and early evolution of language. Its main purpose is to synthesize current thinking on this topic, particularly from a standpoint in theoretical linguistics. It is suitable for students of human evolution, evolutionary psychology, linguistic anthropology and general linguistics. It is the outcome of a major international conference on the evolution of language and includes contributions from many of the best known figures in this field. Very few truly interdisciplinary volumes on this topic have previously been published.

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Editorial Reviews

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' … a useful introduction to the social conditions of language evolution.' McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521786966
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I. The Evolution of Cooperative Communication: 1. Introduction: the evolution of cooperative communication Chris Knight; 2. Comprehension, production and conventionalization in the origins of language Robbins Burling; 3. Co-operation, competition and the evolution of pre-linguistic communication Jason Noble; 4. Language and hominid politics Jean-Louis Dessalles; 5. Secret language use at female initiation: bounding gossiping communities Camilla Power; 6. Play as precursor of phonology and syntax Chris Knight; Part II. The Emergence of Phonetic Structure: 7. Introduction: the emergence of phonetic structure Michael Studdert-Kennedy; 8. The role of mimesis in infant language development: evidence for phylogeny? Marilyn M. Vihman and Rory A. DePaolis; 9. Evolution of speech: the relation between ontogeny and phylogeny Peter J. MacNeilage and Barbara L. Davis; 10. Evolutionary implications of the particulate principle: imitation and the dissociation of phonetic form from semantic function Michael Studdert-Kennedy; 11. Emergence of sound systems through self-organisation Bart de Boer; 12. Modelling language-physiology coevolution Daniel Livingstone and Colin Fyfe; Part III. The Evolution of Syntax: 13. The emergence of syntax James R. Hurford; 14. The spandrels of the linguistic genotype David Lightfoot; 15. The distinction between sentences and noun phrases: an impediment to language evolution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy; 16. How protolanguage became language Derek Bickerton; 17. Holistic utterances in protolanguage: the link from primates to humans Alison Wray; 18. Syntax without natural selection: how compositionality emerges from vocabulary in a population of learners Simon Kirby; 19. Social transmission favours linguistic generalization James R. Hurford; 20. Words, memes and language evolution Robert P. Worden; 21. On the reconstruction of 'proto-world' word order Frederick J. Newmeyer; Epilogue; 22. The history, rate and pattern of world linguistic evolution Mark Pagel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2004

    Hot Air, Intellectual Self-Indulgence at its Worst

    The Book comprises of a montage of papers mired in conjecture and where proofs are offered they are flimsy and groundless. The Book's subject matter has already been extensively addressed in the disciplines of Historical Linguistics, Anthropology, and Evolutionary Biology. There is nothing to be gained in the superficial and redundant essays that mask the true underlying difficulty of constructing an acceptable proof. The very fact there are many diverse and irreconciable views on the subject demonstrates a proof to everyone's satisfaction is no where within reach. The editors of the Book might have just as well solicited papers discussing the evolutionary emergence of language on the planet 'Mars'. The Book does, in fact, illustrate vividly the Evolutionary emergence of intellectual self-indulgence and scholarly insolence (hot air) on the planet Earth. ( This negative review , also, applies to the Editors ' Approaches to the Evolution of Language' published in 1998).

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