language evolution pdf

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The Evolution Of Language

Author : W. Tecumseh Fitch
ISBN : 9781139487061
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 75. 75 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 : 64. 58 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 : 56. 33 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 : 74. 89 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.

Human Evolution Language And Mind

Author : William Noble
ISBN : 0521576350
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25. 56 MB
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Cognition And Communication In The Evolution Of Language

Author : Anne Reboul
ISBN : 9780198747314
Genre :
File Size : 87. 27 MB
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This book proposes a new two-step approach to the evolution of language, whereby syntax first evolved as an auto-organizational process for the human conceptual apparatus (as a Language of Thought), and this Language of Thought was then externalized for communication, due to social selectionpressures. Anne Reboul first argues that despite the routine use of language in communication, current use is not a failsafe guide to adaptive history. She points out that human cognition is as unique in nature as is language as a communication system, suggesting deep links between human thought andlanguage. If language is seen as a communication system, then the specificities of language, its hierarchical syntax, its creativity, and the ability to use it to talk about absent objects, are a mystery. This book shows that approaching language as a system for thought overcomes these problems, andprovides a detailed account of both steps in the evolution of language: its evolution for thought and its externalization for communication.

Oxford Handbook Of Synesthesia

Author : Julia Simner
ISBN : 9780199603329
Genre : Art
File Size : 34. 92 MB
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Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon which has captured the imagination of scientists and artists alike. This title brings together a broad body of knowledge about this condition into one definitive state-of-the-art handbook.

Language Cognition And Computational Models

Author : Thierry Poibeau
ISBN : 9781107162228
Genre : Computers
File Size : 73. 25 MB
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This book uses recent computational models to explore issues related to language and cognition.

The Origins Of Meaning

Author : James R. Hurford
ISBN : 9780199207855
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 64. 88 MB
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"In this engagingly written and broadly interdisciplinary book, Jim Hurford integrates findings from ethology and neuroscience with concepts from philosophy and linguistics to make an explicit and convincing case that animals have rich concepts, and thus that meaning predated language. This is a work of broad scope and significance." W. Tecumesh Fitch, Lecturer in Psychology, University of St. Andrews,from the bookjacket.

How Language Began The Story Of Humanity S Greatest Invention

Author : Daniel L. Everett
ISBN : 9780871404770
Genre : Science
File Size : 44. 82 MB
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How Language Began revolutionizes our understanding of the one tool that has allowed us to become the "lords of the planet." Mankind has a distinct advantage over other terrestrial species: we talk to one another. But how did we acquire the most advanced form of communication on Earth? Daniel L. Everett, a “bombshell” linguist and “instant folk hero” (Tom Wolfe, Harper’s), provides in this sweeping history a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary story of language, from the earliest speaking attempts by hominids to the more than seven thousand languages that exist today. Although fossil hunters and linguists have brought us closer to unearthing the true origins of language, Daniel Everett’s discoveries have upended the contemporary linguistic world, reverberating far beyond academic circles. While conducting field research in the Amazonian rainforest, Everett came across an age-old language nestled amongst a tribe of hunter-gatherers. Challenging long-standing principles in the field, Everett now builds on the theory that language was not intrinsic to our species. In order to truly understand its origins, a more interdisciplinary approach is needed—one that accounts as much for our propensity for culture as it does our biological makeup. Language began, Everett theorizes, with Homo Erectus, who catalyzed words through culturally invented symbols. Early humans, as their brains grew larger, incorporated gestures and voice intonations to communicate, all of which built on each other for 60,000 generations. Tracing crucial shifts and developments across the ages, Everett breaks down every component of speech, from harnessing control of more than a hundred respiratory muscles in the larynx and diaphragm, to mastering the use of the tongue. Moving on from biology to execution, Everett explores why elements such as grammar and storytelling are not nearly as critical to language as one might suspect. In the book’s final section, Cultural Evolution of Language, Everett takes the ever-debated “language gap” to task, delving into the chasm that separates “us” from “the animals.” He approaches the subject from various disciplines, including anthropology, neuroscience, and archaeology, to reveal that it was social complexity, as well as cultural, physiological, and neurological superiority, that allowed humans—with our clawless hands, breakable bones, and soft skin—to become the apex predator. How Language Began ultimately explains what we know, what we’d like to know, and what we likely never will know about how humans went from mere communication to language. Based on nearly forty years of fieldwork, Everett debunks long-held theories by some of history’s greatest thinkers, from Plato to Chomsky. The result is an invaluable study of what makes us human.

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