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Why only humans have language

Robin Dunbar

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0002
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter has three main objectives. First, it briefly summarizes the reasons why language might have evolved, and what we are to make of these. It then considers what this has to tell us about ... More


Language: symbolization and beyond *

Eric Reuland

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0011
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter argues that it is ‘too simplistic’ to view language as primarily a symbolic system used for communication. This view leads to an interpretation of the archeological record that is ‘too ... More


Music as a communicative medium

Ian Cross and Ghofur Eliot Woodruff

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0005
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter explores the idea that language and music may have co-evolved, and proposes that language and music constitute complementary components of the ‘human communicative toolkit’. Drawing on ... More


Recursion, phonological storage capacity, and the evolution of modern speech

Frederick L. Coolidge and Thomas Wynn

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0013
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

Recursion is considered to be the hallmark of modern language. This chapter addresses fundamental questions about its evolutionary emergence: ‘What is the relationship of recursion to modern language ... More


Mosaic neurobiology and anatomical plausibility *

Wendy K. Wilkins

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0015
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter sets out a strategy for investigating the evolutionary biology of language. Central here is the following thesis: In order to understand the emergence of linguistic capacity as an ... More


The origins of the lexicon: how a word‐store evolved *

Maggie Tallerman

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0010
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

The human mental lexicon is the repository of many tens of thousands of distinct vocabulary items, and of stored information about their word classes and their selectional and subcategorization ... More


Holistic communication and the co‐evolution of language and music: resurrecting an old idea

Steven Mithen

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0004
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter argues that we should return to ideas about the relationship between language and music advocated by scholars such as Rousseau, Darwin, and Jespersen. It further articulates the view ... More


The ontogeny and phylogeny of non‐verbal deixis *

David A. Leavens, Timothy P. Racine, and William D. Hopkins

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0008
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter reviews evidence for deixis in great apes. Some of this evidence suggests that great apes easily develop deictic repertoires in the complete absence of any explicit attempt to train ... More


Is sociality a crucial prerequisite for the emergence of language? *

Luc Steels

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0003
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter reports theoretical research exploring the hypothesis that language evolved in a cultural fashion as a complex adaptive system. It does not propose a theory to explain how sociality may ... More


Cultural niche construction: evolution's cradle of language *

John Odling‐Smee and Kevin N. Laland

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0006
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

Standard evolutionary theory is highly successful, based as it is on solid mathematical foundations and a rich empirical tradition, constantly renewed by exchanges of hypotheses and data among ... More


Language Universals

Morten H. Christiansen, Christopher Collins, and Shimon Edelman (eds)

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2009
ISBN:
9780195305432
eISBN:
9780199866953
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195305432.001.0001
Subject:
Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Cognitive Models and Architectures

Languages differ from one another in bewildering and seemingly arbitrary ways. For example, in English, the verb precedes the direct object (understand the proof), but in Japanese, the direct object ... More


Grammaticalization from a biolinguistic perspective *

Elly van Gelderen

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0012
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

Estimates about the origin of modern human language range from 50,000 to 150,000 years ago. These estimates are based on archeological findings, the presence of tools and beads in e.g. the Blombos ... More


Disorders of Language After Frontal Lobe Injury: Evidence for the Neural Mechanisms of Disorders of Language

Michael P. Alexander

in Principles of Frontal Lobe Function

Published in print:
2002
Published Online:
May 2009
ISBN:
9780195134971
eISBN:
9780199864157
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134971.003.0010
Subject:
Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Molecular and Cellular Systems

Damage to the frontal lobes, particularly on the left, will impair language capacity. This chapter reviews language impairment at four discrete, although overlapping, levels of clinical phenomena: ... More


Playing with meaning: normative function and structure in play

Sonia Ragir and Sue Savage‐Rumbaugh

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0007
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter explores the potential of social play to generate shared fields of reference and simple rules in the co-construction of intentional actions and routines in which players demonstrate ... More


The directed scratch: evidence for a referential gesture in chimpanzees? *

Simone Pika and John C. Mitani

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0009
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter presents observations that suggest wild chimpanzees use a gesture, the directed scratch, in a referential fashion. Directed scratches share two crucial components with homesign systems. ... More


Why women speak better than men (and its significance for evolution)

Bart de Boer

in The Prehistory of Language

Published in print:
2009
Published Online:
May 2010
ISBN:
9780199545872
eISBN:
9780191720369
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0014
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics, Psycholinguistics / Neurolinguistics / Cognitive Linguistics

This chapter investigates the effect of the lowering of the larynx in humans, providing an articulatory/acoustic perspective on the evolution of speech. It uses Mermelstein's model of the geometry of ... More


Walter Scott and the Limits of Language

Alison Lumsden

Published in print:
2010
Published Online:
March 2012
ISBN:
9780748641536
eISBN:
9780748651610
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641536.001.0001
Subject:
Literature, 18th-century Literature

Walter Scott's startlingly contemporary approach to theories of language and the creative impact of this on his work are explored in this new study, which examines the linguistic diversity and ... More


Variation and change in languages

Meisel Jurgen M., Elsig Martin, and Rinke Esther

in Language Acquisition and Change: A Morphosyntactic Perspective

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
May 2014
ISBN:
9780748642250
eISBN:
9780748695157
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642250.003.0001
Subject:
Linguistics, English Language

This chapter argues that variation is a constitutive property of language use; its study allows one to explain how grammars change over time. The present discussion is concerned with the latter ... More


Voluntariness of Juvenile Suspects

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Murder Cases: Intentionality, Predisposition, and Voluntariness

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
April 2014
ISBN:
9780199354832
eISBN:
9780199398454
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354832.003.0009
Subject:
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics / Anthropological Linguistics

This chapter begins with a brief summary of the evolving professional perceptions and laws relating to juvenile suspects. Recent research differentiates the developmental characteristics of juveniles ... More


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