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The Prehistory of Language

Rudolf Botha and Chris Knight (eds)

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.001.0001
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

‘When, why, and how did language evolve?’ ‘Why do only humans have language?’ This book looks at these and other questions about the origins and evolution of language. It does so via a diversity of ... More


Universals and the Diachronic Life Cycle of Languages

James R. Hurford

in Language Universals

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2009
ISBN:
9780195305432
eISBN:
9780199866953
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305432.003.0003
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Models and Architectures

This chapter takes the goal of linguistics to be an explanation of how whole languages get to be the way they are. It shows that some insight can be gained into the forces shaping languages by ... More


Cultural Evolution of Language

Dan Dediu, Michael Cysouw, Stephen C. Levinson, Andrea Baronchelli, Morten H. Christiansen, William Croft, Nicholas Evans, Simon Garrod, Russell D. Gray, Anne Kandler, and Elena Lieven

in Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9780262019750
eISBN:
9780262318297
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019750.003.0016
Subject:
Biology, Evolutionary Biology / Genetics

This chapter argues that an evolutionary cultural approach to language not only has already proven fruitful, but it probably holds the key to understand many puzzling aspects of language, its change ... More


Facts about human language relevant to its evolution

Steven Pinker

in Origins of the Human Brain

Published in print:
1996
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780198523901
eISBN:
9780191689048
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198523901.003.0017
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology

This chapter contends that an important source of evidence that has been neglected in the study of language evolution is the language itself. Thus, in this chapter, some basic facts about the ... More


Testimonial Entitlement and the Function of Comprehension

Peter J. Graham

in Social Epistemology

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
January 2011
ISBN:
9780199577477
eISBN:
9780191595189
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577477.003.0008
Subject:
Philosophy, Metaphysics/Epistemology, Philosophy of Language

Warrants epistemically support beliefs. There are two prominent kinds: entitlements and justifications. Justifications involve reasons and reasoning; paradigmatically justifications are arguments in ... More


The Faculty of Language: What’s Special about It?

Ray Jackendoff

in Language, Cognition, and Human Nature

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780199328741
eISBN:
9780199369355
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199328741.003.0009
Subject:
Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter examines the question of which aspects of language are uniquely human and uniquely linguistic in light of suggestions by Hauser, Chomsky, and Fitch that the only such aspect is syntactic ... More


The Interplay of Genetic and Cultural Factors in Ongoing Language Evolution

Stephen C. Levinson and Dan Dediu

in Cultural Evolution: Society, Technology, Language, and Religion

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9780262019750
eISBN:
9780262318297
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019750.003.0012
Subject:
Biology, Evolutionary Biology / Genetics

This chapter discusses recent advances in our understanding of the complex interplay between cultural and biological factors in language change and evolution. Three “myths” (the independence of ... More


Evolving the Language-and Music- Ready Brain

Michael A. Arbib and Atsushi Iriki

in Language, Music, and the Brain: A Mysterious Relationship

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9780262018104
eISBN:
9780262314121
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262018104.003.0019
Subject:
Neuroscience, Development

This chapter focuses on the evolution of the language-ready brain, offering triadic niche construction as the framework in which to see the interaction between the environmental niche, the cognitive ... More


Culture and Evolution

W. Ian Cross, Tecumseh Fitch, Francisco Aboitiz, Atsushi Iriki, Erich D. Jarvis, Jerome Lewis, Katja Liebal, Bjorn Merker, Dietrich Stout, and Sandra E. Trehub

in Language, Music, and the Brain: A Mysterious Relationship

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9780262018104
eISBN:
9780262314121
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262018104.003.0021
Subject:
Neuroscience, Development

This chapter captures extensive discussions between people with different forms of expertise and viewpoints. It explores the relationships between language and music in evolutionary and cultural ... More


The Origins of Psychosis and the Evolution of Language: Cerebral Asymmetry Sex Chromosomes, and speciation

Timothy J. Crow

in The Two Halves of the Brain: Information Processing in the Cerebral Hemispheres

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262014137
eISBN:
9780262265942
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262014137.003.0458
Subject:
Neuroscience, Research and Theory

This chapter reviews the case that cerebral asymmetry (the torque) is necessary to an understanding of psychosis, and argues that it can be understood only in terms of the origins of humans and the ... More


Emotion in Action, Interaction, Music, and Speech

Klaus R. Scherer

in Language, Music, and the Brain: A Mysterious Relationship

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2015
ISBN:
9780262018104
eISBN:
9780262314121
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262018104.003.0005
Subject:
Neuroscience, Development

This chapter highlights the central role of emotion in understanding the relationships between action, interaction, music, and speech. It is suggested that brief nonverbal displays of emotion (affect ... More


The Evolution of Language

Zoltan Torey and Daniel C. Dennett

in The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
August 2013
ISBN:
9780262512848
eISBN:
9780262255189
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262512848.003.0004
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Mind

This chapter focuses on the arguably obscure antecedents of language, together with the anatomical changes that helped in the evolution of language. It is the goal of this chapter to show that ... More


Darwin’s Romantic Quest: Mind, Morals, and Emotions

Robert J. Richards

in Was Hitler a Darwinian?: Disputed Questions in the History of Evolutionary Theory

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2014
ISBN:
9780226058764
eISBN:
9780226059099
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:
10.7208/chicago/9780226059099.003.0004
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

From the beginning of his theorizing, Darwin had human beings in mind. He sought to give an account of their, emotional repertoire, linguistic abilities, and high intelligence; he offered ingenious ... More


The Cognitive Niche: Coevolution of Intelligence, Sociality, and Language

Steven Pinker

in Language, Cognition, and Human Nature

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780199328741
eISBN:
9780199369355
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199328741.003.0013
Subject:
Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

Although Darwin insisted that human intelligence could be fully explained by the theory of evolution, the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace, claimed that abstract intelligence ... More


The Chomsky hierarchy in perspective

Pieter A. M. Seuren

in From Whorf to Montague: Explorations in the Theory of Language

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780199682195
eISBN:
9780191764929
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682195.003.0007
Subject:
Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, Semantics and Pragmatics

This chapter discusses the so-called Chomsky hierarchy of grammars, which is based on the presupposition that natural language grammars are algorithmic production systems classified according to the ... More


Language, Cognition, and Human Nature

Steven Pinker

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780199328741
eISBN:
9780199369355
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199328741.001.0001
Subject:
Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

Steven Pinker’s books and essays on language, mind, and human nature that have reached a wide global audience. But his articles in the scholarly literature have also been influential and readable. ... More


Chimpanzee grooming gestures and sounds: what might they tell us about how language evolved?

Simone Pika

in The Social Origins of Language

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
August 2014
ISBN:
9780199665327
eISBN:
9780191779725
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665327.003.0010
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

Human language, without precedent elsewhere in the biological world, has often been used to define what it means to be human. Although there are on-going debates on whether language originated from ... More


The Normative Nature of Language

N. J. Enfield and Jack Sidnell

in The Normative Animal?: On the Anthropological Significance of Social, Moral, and Linguistic Norms

Published in print:
2019
Published Online:
July 2019
ISBN:
9780190846466
eISBN:
9780190846497
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190846466.003.0013
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics

This chapter examines the normative nature of language, focusing on the idea that there are socially determined and commonly shared criteria for accountably appropriate action specific to language. ... More


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