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The Evolution Of Language

Author : W. Tecumseh Fitch
ISBN : 9781139487061
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 27. 9 MB
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Language, more than anything else, is what makes us human. It appears that no communication system of equivalent power exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Any normal human child will learn a language based on rather sparse data in the surrounding world, while even the brightest chimpanzee, exposed to the same environment, will not. Why not? How, and why, did language evolve in our species and not in others? Since Darwin's theory of evolution, questions about the origin of language have generated a rapidly-growing scientific literature, stretched across a number of disciplines, much of it directed at specialist audiences. The diversity of perspectives - from linguistics, anthropology, speech science, genetics, neuroscience and evolutionary biology - can be bewildering. Tecumseh Fitch cuts through this vast literature, bringing together its most important insights to explore one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of human history.

The Ecology Of Language Evolution

Author : Salikoko S. Mufwene
ISBN : 0521794757
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 21. 84 MB
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This major new work explores the development of creoles and other new languages, focusing on the conceptual and methodological issues they raise for genetic linguistics. Written by an internationally renowned linguist, the book surveys a wide range of examples of changes in the structure, function and vitality of languages, and suggests that similar ecologies have played the same kinds of roles in all cases of language evolution. The Ecology of Language Evolution will be welcomed by students and researchers in sociolinguistics, creolistics, theoretical linguistics and theories of evolution.

The Symbolic Species The Co Evolution Of Language And The Brain

Author : Terrence W. Deacon
ISBN : 9780393343021
Genre : Science
File Size : 27. 95 MB
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"A work of enormous breadth, likely to pleasantly surprise both general readers and experts."—New York Times Book Review This revolutionary book provides fresh answers to long-standing questions of human origins and consciousness. Drawing on his breakthrough research in comparative neuroscience, Terrence Deacon offers a wealth of insights into the significance of symbolic thinking: from the co-evolutionary exchange between language and brains over two million years of hominid evolution to the ethical repercussions that followed man's newfound access to other people's thoughts and emotions. Informing these insights is a new understanding of how Darwinian processes underlie the brain's development and function as well as its evolution. In contrast to much contemporary neuroscience that treats the brain as no more or less than a computer, Deacon provides a new clarity of vision into the mechanism of mind. It injects a renewed sense of adventure into the experience of being human.

Language Evolution

Author : Salikoko S. Mufwene
ISBN : 9781441175359
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 81. 87 MB
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Languages are constantly changing. New words are added to the English language every year, either borrowed or coined, and there is often railing against the 'decline' of the language by public figures. Some languages, such as French and Finnish, have academies to protect them against foreign imports. Yet languages are species-like constructs, which evolve naturally over time. Migration, imperialism, and globalization have blurred boundaries between many of them, producing new ones (such as creoles) and driving some to extinction. This book examines the processes by which languages change, from the macroecological perspective of competition and natural selection. In a series of chapters, Salikoko Mufwene examines such themes as: - natural selection in language - the actuation question and the invisible hand that drives evolution - multilingualism and language contact - language birth and language death - the emergence of Creoles and Pidgins - the varying impacts of colonization and globalization on language vitality This comprehensive examination of the organic evolution of language will be essential reading for graduate and senior undergraduate students, and for researchers on the social dynamics of language variation and change, language vitality and death, and even the origins of linguistic diversity.

The Evolution Of Human Language

Author : Richard K. Larson
ISBN : 0521736250
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 38. 81 MB
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The way language as a human faculty has evolved is a question that preoccupies researchers from a wide spread of disciplines. In this book, a team of writers has been brought together to examine the evolution of language from a variety of such standpoints, including language's genetic basis, the anthropological context of its appearance, its formal structure, its relation to systems of cognition and thought, as well as its possible evolutionary antecedents. The book includes Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch's seminal and provocative essay on the subject, 'The Faculty of Language,' and charts the progress of research in this active and highly controversial field since its publication in 2002. This timely volume will be welcomed by researchers and students in a number of disciplines, including linguistics, evolutionary biology, psychology, and cognitive science.

Creating Language

Author : Morten H. Christiansen
ISBN : 9780262334785
Genre : Science
File Size : 85. 49 MB
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Language is a hallmark of the human species; the flexibility and unbounded expressivity of our linguistic abilities is unique in the biological world. In this book, Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater argue that to understand this astonishing phenomenon, we must consider how language is created: moment by moment, in the generation and understanding of individual utterances; year by year, as new language learners acquire language skills; and generation by generation, as languages change, split, and fuse through the processes of cultural evolution. Christiansen and Chater propose a revolutionary new framework for understanding the evolution, acquisition, and processing of language, offering an integrated theory of how language creation is intertwined across these multiple timescales.Christiansen and Chater argue that mainstream generative approaches to language do not provide compelling accounts of language evolution, acquisition, and processing. Their own account draws on important developments from across the language sciences, including statistical natural language processing, learnability theory, computational modeling, and psycholinguistic experiments with children and adults. Christiansen and Chater also consider some of the major implications of their theoretical approach for our understanding of how language works, offering alternative accounts of specific aspects of language, including the structure of the vocabulary, the importance of experience in language processing, and the nature of recursive linguistic structure.

Language

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File Size : 35. 9 MB
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Human Evolution Language And Mind

Author : William Noble
ISBN : 0521576350
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 85. 29 MB
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Body Language And Mind Sociocultural Situatedness

Author : Roslyn M. Frank
ISBN : 3110196182
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 32. 93 MB
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The papers in this volume introduce and elaborate upon the concept of sociocultural situatedness, understood broadly as the way in which minds and cognitive processes are shaped, both individually and collectively, by their interaction with culturally contextualized structures and practices; and, furthermore, how these structures interact, contextually, with language and can become embodied in it.

Foundations Of Language

Author : Ray Jackendoff
ISBN : 9780191574016
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 63. 44 MB
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How does human language work? How do we put ideas into words that others can understand? Can linguistics shed light on the way the brain operates? Foundations of Language puts linguistics back at the centre of the search to understand human consciousness. Ray Jackendoff begins by surveying the developments in linguistics over the years since Noam Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. He goes on to propose a radical re-conception of how the brain processes language. This opens up vivid new perspectives on every major aspect of language and communication, including grammar, vocabulary, learning, the origins of human language, and how language relates to the real world. Foundations of Language makes important connections with other disciplines which have been isolated from linguistics for many years. It sets a new agenda for close cooperation between the study of language, mind, the brain, behaviour, and evolution.

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