The Seeds of Speech: Language Origin and Evolution

The Seeds of Speech: Language Origin and Evolution

by Aitchison Jean, Jean Aitchison
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521785715

ISBN-13: 9780521785716

Pub. Date: 03/28/2012

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Human language is a weird communication system: it has more in common with birdsong than with the calls of other primates. Jean Aitchison explores the origins of human language and how it has evolved. She likens the search to a vast prehistoric jigsaw puzzle, in which numerous fragments of evidence must be assembled. Such evidence is pieced together from a

Overview

Human language is a weird communication system: it has more in common with birdsong than with the calls of other primates. Jean Aitchison explores the origins of human language and how it has evolved. She likens the search to a vast prehistoric jigsaw puzzle, in which numerous fragments of evidence must be assembled. Such evidence is pieced together from a mixture of linguistic and nonlinguistic sources such as evolution theory, archaeology, psychology, and anthropology. This is an accessible and wide-ranging introduction to the origins and evolution of human language.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521785716
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2012
Series:
Canto Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.43(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.67(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Puzzles: 1. A natural curiosity: how did language begin?; 2. A peculiar habit: what is language for?; 3. The bother at Babel: why do languages differ so much?; 4. Distinct duties: is language an independent skill?; Part II. Origin: 5. The family tree: the evolutionary background; 6. A devious mind: the basic requirements; 7. Broken air: inherited ingredients; 8. Small beginnings: first steps; Part III. Evolution: 9. The secong word: the emergence of rules; 10. The tower of speech: expansion; 11. Time travelling: extra attachments; 12. Rebuilding on the high seas: keeping going; Part IV. Diffusion: 13. The widening circle: moving outwards; 14. The hidden core: the hunt for universals; 15. The real magician: ruling the rules; 16. Unweaving the rainbow: separating the strands; 17. The endless stair: past and future; Symbols used in the text; Notes and suggestions for further reading; References; Index.

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