Function, Selection and Innateness by Simon Kirby
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Function, Selection and Innateness
By Simon Kirby

Function, Selection and Innateness

The Emergence of Language Universals

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Format: Paperback

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Function, Selection and Innateness by Simon Kirby

Book Description

This book explores issues at the core of modern linguistics and cognitive science. Why are all languages similar in some ways and in others utterly different? Why do languages change and change variably? How did the human capacity for language evolve, and how far did it do so as an innate ability? Simon Kirby looks at these questions from a broad perspective, arguing that they can (indeed must) be studied together. The author begins by examining how far the universal properties of language may be explained by examining the way it is used, and how far by the way it is structured. He then considers what insights may be gained by combining functional and formal approaches. In doing so he develops a way of treating language as an adaptive system, in which its communicative and formal roles are both crucial and complementary. In order to test the effectiveness of competing theories and explanations, Simon Kirby develops computational models to show what universals emerge given a particular theory of language use or acquisition. He presents here both the methodology and the results. Function, Selection, and Innateness is important for its argument, its methodology, and its conclusions. It is a powerful demonstration of the value of looking at language as an adaptive system and goes to the heart of current debates on the evolution and nature of language.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780198238126
ISBN-10: 0198238126
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 15mm)
Pages: 172
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 22-Apr-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...


Books By Author Simon Kirby

Language Evolution by Simon Kirby Language Evolution, Hardback (July 2003)

Deals with the field of language evolution. This title gives accounts of the various scholars' theories on the origins of language, reflecting on important issues and debates.

Taking Ideas to Market by Simon Kirby Taking Ideas to Market, Paperback (January 2002)

Covers the key areas of innovation, from generating new concepts and selecting the best opportunities to managing a new product launch and ensuring effective delivery. This title features examples and lessons from some of the world's most successful businesses, including ABB, eBay, 3M and Zara.

Function, Selection and Innateness by Simon Kirby Function, Selection and Innateness, Hardback (April 1999)

This text explores issues at the core of modern linguistics and cognitive science such as why all languages are similar in some ways and in others utterly different; why languages change and change variably; how the human capacity for language evolved; and how far it did so as an innate ability?

» View all books by Simon Kirby

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