The Evolution of Language out of Pre-language

The Evolution of Language out of Pre-language

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Description

The contributors to this volume are linguists, psychologists, neuroscientists, primatologists, and anthropologists who share the assumption that language, just as mind and brain, are products of biological evolution. The rise of human language is not viewed as a serendipitous mutation that gave birth to a unique linguistic organ, but as a gradual, adaptive extension of pre-existing mental capacities and brain structures. The contributors carefully study brain mechanisms, diachronic change, language acquisition, and the parallels between cognitive and linguistic structures to weave a web of hypotheses and suggestive empirical findings on the origins of language and the connections of language to other human capacities. The chapters discuss brain pathways that support linguistic processing; origins of specific linguistic features in temporal and hierarchical structures of the mind; the possible co-evolution of language and the reasoning about mental states; and the aspects of language learning that may serve as models of evolutionary change.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 394 pages
  • 164 x 245 x 25.4mm | 670g
  • John Benjamins Publishing Co
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1588112373
  • 9781588112378

Table of contents

1. Introduction (by Givon, T.); 2. Part 1. Language and the brain; 3. 1. The visual information-processing system as an evolutionaryprecursor of human language (by Givon, T.); 4. 2. Embodied meaning: An evolutionary-developmental analysis of adaptive semantics (by Tucker, Don M.); 5. 3. Missing links, issues and hypotheses in the evolutionary origin of language (by Li, Charles N.); 6. Part 2. Language and cognition; 7. 4. Sequentiality as the basis of constituent structure (by Bybee, Joan L.); 8. 5. The internal structure of the syllable: An ontogenetic perspective on origins (by Davis, Barbara L.); 9. 6. On the origins of intersyllabic complexity (by MacNeilage, Peter F.); 10. 7. On the pre-linguistic origins of language processing rates (by Barker, Marjorie); 11. 8. The clausal structure of linguistic and pre-linguistic behavior (by Fenk-Oczlon, Gertraud); 12. Part 3. Language and social cognition; 13. 9. The gradual emergence of language (by MacWhinney, Brian); 14. 10. The relation between language and theory of mind in development and evolution (by Malle, Bertram F.); 15. 11. The rise of intentional understanding in human development: Analogies to the ontogenesis of language (by Baldwin, Dare A.); 16. Part 4. Language development; 17. 12. The emergence of grammar in early child language (by Tomasello, Michael); 18. 13. Why does exposure to language matter? (by Morford, Jill P.); 19. 14. Getting a handle on language creation (by Goldin-Meadow, Susan); 20. 15. Language evolution, acquisition, diachrony: Probing the parallels (by Slobin, Dan I.)show more

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