The Evolutionary Emergence of Language
Social Function and the Origins of Linguistic Form
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Evolutionary Emergence of Language by Chris Knight
Book DescriptionLanguage has no counterpart in the animal world. Unique to Homo sapiens, it appears inseparable from human nature. But how, when and why did it emerge? The contributors to this volume - linguists, anthropologists, cognitive scientists, and others - adopt a modern Darwinian perspective which offers a bold synthesis of the human and natural sciences. As a feature of human social intelligence, language evolution is driven by biologically anomalous levels of social cooperation. Phonetic competence correspondingly reflects social pressures for vocal imitation, learning, and other forms of social transmission. Distinctively human social and cultural strategies gave rise to the complex syntactical structure of speech. This book, presenting language as a remarkable social adaptation, testifies to the growing influence of evolutionary thinking in contemporary linguistics. It will be welcomed by all those interested in human evolution, evolutionary psychology, linguistic anthropology, and general linguistics.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521781572
(228mm x 152mm x 29mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 13-Nov-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Chris Knight
Decoding Chomsky, Hardback (September 2016)
A fresh and fascinating look at the philosophies, politics, and intellectual legacy of one of the twentieth century's most influential and controversial minds
Social Origins of Language, Paperback (June 2014)
This book presents a new perspective on the origins of language, and highlights the key role of social and cultural dynamics in driving language evolution. It considers, among other questions, the role of gesture in communication, mimesis, play, dance, and song in extant hunter-gatherer communities, and the time-frame for language evolution.
Cradle of Language, Paperback (May 2009)» View all books by Chris Knight
This book is the first to focus on the African origins of human language. It explores the origins of language and culture 250,000-150,000 years ago when modern humans evolved in Africa. Internationally renowned scholars address the fossil, genetic, and archaeological evidence and critically examine the ways it has been interpreted.
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