the biology and evolution of language

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The Biology And Evolution Of Language

Author : Philip Lieberman
ISBN : 0674074130
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 34. 82 MB
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This book synthesizes much of the exciting recent research in the biology of language. Drawing on data from anatomy, neurophysiology, physiology, and behavioral biology, Lieberman develops a new approach to the puzzle of language, arguing that it is the result of many evolutionary compromises. Within his discussion, Lieberman skillfully addresses matters as various as the theory of neoteny (which he refutes), the mating calls of bullfrogs, ape language, dyslexia, and computer-implemented models of the brain.

The Evolution Of Language

Author : W. Tecumseh Fitch
ISBN : 9780521859936
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 52. 42 MB
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This book brings together the most important insights from the vast amount of literature on the origin of language.

Toward An Evolutionary Biology Of Language

Author : Philip Lieberman
ISBN : 0674021843
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 82. 51 MB
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In this forcefully argued book, the leading evolutionary theorist of language provides a framework for studying the evolution of human language and cognition. Philip Lieberman asserts that the widely influential theories of language's development are inconsistent with principles and findings of evolutionary biology and neuroscience. In his view, the human language ability is the confluence of a succession of separate evolutionary developments, jury-rigged by natural selection to work together for an evolutionarily unique ability.

The Oxford Handbook Of Language Evolution

Author : Maggie Tallerman
ISBN : 9780199541119
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 65. 7 MB
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Leading scholars present critical accounts of every aspect of the field, including work in animal behaviour; anatomy, genetics and neurology; the prehistory of language; the development of our uniquely linguistic species; and language creation, transmission, and change.

The Biology Of Language

Author : Stanislaw Puppel
ISBN : 9789027274243
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 28. 6 MB
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This volume brings together 15 papers on the evolution and origin of language. The authors approach the subject from various angles, exploring biological, cultural, psychological and linguistic factors. A wide variety of topics is discussed, such as animal communication, language acquisition, the essentialist-evolutionist debate, and genetic classification.

More Than Nature Needs

Author : Derek Bickerton
ISBN : 9780674728530
Genre : Science
File Size : 57. 73 MB
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How did humans acquire cognitive capacities far more powerful than any hunting-and-gathering primate needed to survive? Alfred Russel Wallace, co-founder with Darwin of evolutionary theory, set humans outside normal evolution. Darwin thought use of language might have shaped our sophisticated brains, but this remained an intriguing guess--until now. Combining state-of-the-art research with forty years of writing and thinking about language origins, Derek Bickerton convincingly resolves a crucial problem that biology and the cognitive sciences have systematically avoided. Before language or advanced cognition could be born, humans had to escape the prison of the here and now in which animal thinking and communication were both trapped. Then the brain's self-organization, triggered by words, assembled mechanisms that could link not only words but the concepts those words symbolized--a process that had to be under conscious control. Those mechanisms could be used equally for thinking and for talking, but the skeletal structures they produced were suboptimal for the hearer and had to be elaborated. Starting from humankind's remotest past, More than Nature Needs transcends nativist thesis and empiricist antithesis by presenting a revolutionary synthesis that shows specifically and in a principled way how and why the synthesis came about.

Grooming Gossip And The Evolution Of Language

Author : Robin Dunbar
ISBN : 0674363361
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 57. 82 MB
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What a big brain we have for all the small talk we make. It's an evolutionary riddle that at long last makes sense in this intriguing book about what gossip has done for our talkative species. Psychologist Robin Dunbar looks at gossip as an instrument of social order and cohesion--much like the endless grooming with which our primate cousins tend to their social relationships. Apes and monkeys, humanity's closest kin, differ from other animals in the intensity of these relationships. All their grooming is not so much about hygiene as it is about cementing bonds, making friends, and influencing fellow primates. But for early humans, grooming as a way to social success posed a problem: given their large social groups of 150 or so, our earliest ancestors would have had to spend almost half their time grooming one another--an impossible burden. What Dunbar suggests--and his research, whether in the realm of primatology or in that of gossip, confirms--is that humans developed language to serve the same purpose, but far more efficiently. It seems there is nothing idle about chatter, which holds together a diverse, dynamic group--whether of hunter-gatherers, soldiers, or workmates. Anthropologists have long assumed that language developed in relationships among males during activities such as hunting. Dunbar's original and extremely interesting studies suggest otherwise: that language in fact evolved in response to our need to keep up to date with friends and family. We needed conversation to stay in touch, and we still need it in ways that will not be satisfied by teleconferencing, email, or any other communication technology. As Dunbar shows, the impersonal world of cyberspace will not fulfill our primordial need for face-to-face contact. From the nit-picking of chimpanzees to our chats at coffee break, from neuroscience to paleoanthropology, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language offers a provocative view of what makes us human, what holds us together, and what sets us apart.

Eve Spoke

Author : Philip Lieberman
ISBN : 0393040895
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 62. 83 MB
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The human imagination never ceases to be captivated by the quest for its own roots. Who were our ancestors? In the evolutionary clash of brains and brawn, what was it that prevailed and made us, Homo sapiens, uniquely human? Today scientists cite language as the distinctively human feature. But what is language—a sign, a grunt? a sound with collective symbolic meaning? This remarkable book seeks to set the record straight with a critical refinement of the language theory, providing us for the first time with a scientific explanation of how Eve came to speak at all. Wrestling with the age-old question of why such a large gulf exists between humans and other animals, Philip Lieberman mines both the fossil record and modern neuroscientific techniques to chart the development of the anatomy and brain mechanisms necessary for human language as we know it. Eschewing any notion of a language gene or instinct, he pursues instead an evolutionary path in which environment acts on a biological capacity to reveal the interconnectedness of systems that make us most human: precise motor skills, speech, language, and complex thought. Eve Spoke challenges the dominant scientific theories of language's origins and forges a new understanding of the role of language in our evolution.

The Evolution Of Language

Author : Andrew D. M. Smith
ISBN : 9789814295222
Genre : Historical linguistics
File Size : 82. 54 MB
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This volume comprises refereed papers and abstracts of the 8th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EVOLANG8), held in Utrecht on 14-17 April 2010. As the leading international conference in the field, the biennial EVOLANG meeting is characterized by an invigorating, multidisciplinary approach to the origins and evolution of human language, and brings together researchers from many subject areas, including anthropology, archaeology, biology, cognitive science, computer science, genetics, linguistics, neuroscience, palaeontology, primatology and psychology. The latest theoretical, experimental and modelling research on language evolution is presented in this collection, including contributions from many leading scientists in the field.

Darwin S Unfinished Symphony

Author : Kevin N. Laland
ISBN : 9781400884872
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 21 MB
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How culture transformed human evolution Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for cultural production, from the arts and language to science and technology. How did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin's Unfinished Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution. This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process. Kevin Laland shows how the learned and socially transmitted activities of our ancestors shaped our intellects through accelerating cycles of evolutionary feedback. The truly unique characteristics of our species—such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and cooperation—are not adaptive responses to predators, disease, or other external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, and bringing it to life with vivid natural history, Laland explains how animals imitate, innovate, and have remarkable traditions of their own. He traces our rise from scavenger apes in prehistory to modern humans able to design iPhones, dance the tango, and send astronauts into space. This book tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin's intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.

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