The Origins of Language: What Nonhuman Primates Can Tell Us / Edition 1

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Overview

Is human language unique in the animal world, or does it have meaningful precursors in animal communication? In The Origins of Language, ten primatologists and paleoanthropologists conduct a comprehensive examination of the nonhuman primate data, discussing different views of what language is and suggesting how the primatological perspective can be used to fashion more rigorous theories of language origins and evolution. Together, the essays make a powerful case against the position that language is an innate biological system unique to humans and demonstrate that many aspects of language likely have a long evolutionary history-one that extends back beyond hominids to encompass our closest living relatives in the animal world.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Ten anthropologists trade thoughts and findings on primatology and language origins in the papers they prepared for an October 1996 seminar. Their topics include social organization, gestural repertoire size, and communication dynamics; ape language; continuity and discontinuity in language origins; and the invention and ritualization of language. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780933452602
  • Publisher: School for Advanced Research Press
  • Publication date: 11/17/1999
  • Series: Advanced Seminar Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Preface
1 Introduction: Primatological Perspectives on Language 3
2 Viewed from Up Close: Monkeys, Apes, and Language-Origins Theories 21
3 Primate Social Organization, Gestural Repertoire Size, and Communication Dynamics: A Comparative Study of Macaques 55
4 An Empiricist View of Language Evolution and Development 79
5 Ape Language: Between a Rock and Hard Place 115
6 Language Evolution and Expansions of Multiple Neurological Processing Areas 189
7 The Game of the Name: Continuity and Discontinuity in Language Origins 229
8 Children's Transition to Language: A Human Model for Development of the Vocal Repertoire in Extant and Ancestral Primate Species? 269
9 Motivation, Conventionalization, and Arbitrariness in the Origin of Language 307
10 The Invention and Ritualization of Language 351
References 385
Index 433
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