Speaking Our Minds

Speaking Our Minds : Why human communication is different, and how language evolved to make it special

4.36 (22 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Language is an essential part of what makes us human. Where did it come from? How did it develop into the complex system we know today? And what can an evolutionary perspective tell us about the nature of language and communication?

Drawing on a range of disciplines including cognitive science, linguistics, anthropology and evolutionary biology, Speaking Our Minds explains how language evolved and why we are the only species to communicate in this way.

Written by a rising star in the field, this groundbreaking book is required reading for anyone interested in understanding the origins and evolution of human communication and language.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 212 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 10.16mm | 332g
  • Red Globe Press
  • Basingstoke, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2015 ed.
  • 212 p.
  • 1137334568
  • 9781137334565
  • 683,306

Back cover copy

Language is an essential part of what makes us human. Where did it come from? How did it develop into the complex system we know today? And what can an evolutionary perspective tell us about the nature of language and communication? Drawing on a range of disciplines including cognitive science, linguistics, anthropology and evolutionary biology, Speaking Our Minds explains how language evolved and why we are the only species to communicate in this way. Written by a rising star in the field, this groundbreaking book is required reading for anyone interested in understanding the origins and evolution of human communication and language.
show more

Table of contents

1. Two Approaches to Communication.- 2. The Emergence of Communication Systems.- 3. Cognition and Communication.- 4. The Evolution of Ostensive Communication.- 5. Crossing the Rubicon.- 6. Evolutionary AdaptationEpilogue: The Big Questions Answered.
show more

Review quote

"This I believe is the most important and the best book ever written on the evolution of language. It is the most important because it integrates like never before the different perspectives of linguistics, psychology, primatology, evolutionary biology, and anthropology into a novel and compelling explanation of how language emerged and evolved. It is the best because, moreover, it achieves this level of integration with great simplicity and clarity. A must-read.' - Dan Sperber, Emeritus Research Professor, CNRS, Paris, France & Professor of Cognitive Science, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary "Scott-Phillips has done an amazing job, combining approaches from fields as disparate as linguistics, cognition and evolutionary theory, to bring clarity to our understanding of human language. He explains what is special about human language, where it came from, and why it mattered for evolution. He has cut through the jargon to produce a highly readable book that will appeal to all users and students of communication, from humpty dumpty to eminent linguists." - Stu West, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, University of Oxford, UK "Clear, engaging, both serious and yet fun to read, this book offers a fresh perspective on what often seems to be a well-worn topic. It will reinvigorate debate, and encourage new ways of thinking." - Louise Barrett, Professor of Psychology & Canada Research Chair in Cognition, Evolution and Behaviour, University of Lethbridge, Canada "This is a highly accessible account of the nature of human language that challenges many common assumptions and makes a compelling argument for how we should approach language evolution." - Katie Slocombe, Evolutionary Psychologist & Senior Lecturer, University of York "This book is very impressive. The spirit of scientific endeavour and the excitement of understanding a complex topic come across strongly." - Andrew Wells, formerly Senior Lecturer in Psychology at LSE, UK "'Speaking Our Minds' is an engagingly written and convincingly argued work that promises to stimulate much new research in the field. The book offers a unifying account that tackles many of the questions surrounding the evolution of language." - Journal of Language Evolution
show more

About Thom Scott-Phillips

Thom Scott-Phillips is a research fellow in Evolutionary and Cognitive Anthropology, at Durham University, UK. He currently holds an Addison Wheeler Fellowship and a prestigious ESRC Future Research Leaders grant, and was previously a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He has spent the past 10 years studying and researching the evolutionary origins of human communication and language. His work has received multiple prizes and accolades, including the New Investigator Award from the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association in 2011, and the British Psychological Society's award for Outstanding Doctoral Research in 2010.
show more

Rating details

22 ratings
4.36 out of 5 stars
5 50% (11)
4 36% (8)
3 14% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X