The Science Times Book of Language and Linguistics

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In the latest book in the series, editor Nichols Wade and the award-winning New York Times journalists explore the mysterious roots of language.Every culture has language, and we have long considered our ability to articulate to be what makes human beings unique in the animal world. It now appears certain that animals have fairly complex ways of communicating as well. Times reporters examine findings that shed light on animal "language," from the subsonic songs of the African elephants that can travel up to two ...
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Overview

In the latest book in the series, editor Nichols Wade and the award-winning New York Times journalists explore the mysterious roots of language.Every culture has language, and we have long considered our ability to articulate to be what makes human beings unique in the animal world. It now appears certain that animals have fairly complex ways of communicating as well. Times reporters examine findings that shed light on animal "language," from the subsonic songs of the African elephants that can travel up to two miles through the ground to the rich rhyming schemes of the humpback whales.Our own species' development of language capacity remains a fascinating study. Did Neanderthals have spoken language? Which of the earliest cultures had written language? Among the tales herein are the search for the hypothetical mother tongue from which all languages are descended; linguists' reconstruction of lost languages; and archaeologists' discovery of 4,000-year-old Caucasian mummy remains in China that suggest astonishing possibilities.The human brain and how it acquires language is a constant source of scientific interest. Articles on the ways in which babies learn language, laughter's role in communication, how music works in the brain, how brain disorders affect language development, and how men and women use language differently are just some of the tantalizing research covered. The Science Times Book of Language and Linguistics is sure to captivate history buffs, animal lovers, students, and anyone who has an interest in language and culture. (71/4 X 91/2, 212 pages, illustrations)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558219342
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2000
  • Series: Science Times Series
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 7.32 (w) x 9.52 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Tree of Language 3
Linguists Dig Deeper into Origins of Language 5
Linguists Debating Deepest Roots of Language 10
Gene Study Sees No Tie to Spread of Languages 16
When No One Read, Who Started to Write? 19
New Family Tree Is Constructed for Indo-European 26
Scholars Debate Roots of Yiddish, Migration of Jews 31
Mummies, Textiles Offer Evidence of Europeans in Far East 37
Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza; A Geneticist Maps Ancient Migrations 45
2 Language in Other Species 51
Look Who's Talking. Don't Bother Listening 53
Ancestral Humans Could Speak, Anthropologists' Finding Suggests 56
Brain of Chimpanzee Sheds Light on Mystery of Language 60
Chimp Talk Debate: Is It Really Language? 64
She Talks to Apes and, According to Her, They Talk Back 70
Picking Up Mammals' Deep Notes 74
3 The Acquisition of Language 81
In Brain's Early Growth, Timetable May Be Crucial 83
Linguists Debate Study Classifying Language as Innate Human Skill 90
Babies Learn Sounds of Language by Six Months 95
Study Finds Baby Talk Means More Than a Coo 98
Studies Show Talking with Infants Shapes Basis of Ability to Think 101
Deaf Babies Use Their Hands to Babble, Researcher Finds 107
Removing Half of Brain Improves Young Epileptics' Lives 110
Test-Tube Moms 113
When an Adult Adds a Language, It's One Brain, Two Systems 119
Old Brains Can Learn New Language Tricks 122
Scientists Track the Process of Reading Through the Brain 126
4 Language and the Brain 131
Brain Yields New Clues on Its Organization for Language 134
The Mystery of Music: How It Works in the Brain 141
Odd Disorder of Brain May Offer New Clues 149
Brain May Have Separate Units to Digest Writing and Speech 155
Subtle But Intriguing Differences Found in the Brain Anatomy of Men and Women 158
Men and Women Use Brain Differently, Study Discovers 163
5 Language and Society 167
Laughs: Rhythmic Bursts of Social Glue 169
Time Almost Buried Ancient Maya Secrets 176
Language of Early Americans Is Deciphered 178
In a Publishing Coup, Books in "Unwritten" Languages 184
Indians Striving to Save Their Languages 189
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