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Birdsong, speech, and language : exploring the evolution of mind and brain

Author: Johan J Bolhuis; Martin Everaert
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 2013.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Scholars have long been captivated by the parallels between birdsong and human speech and language. In this book, leading scholars draw on the latest research to explore what birdsong can tell us about the biology of human speech and language and the consequences for evolutionary biology. They examine the cognitive and neural similarities between birdsong learning and speech and language acquisition, considering  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Johan J Bolhuis; Martin Everaert
ISBN: 9780262018609 0262018608 9780262528849 0262528843 9780262313827 0262313820
OCLC Number: 800447819
Description: xiv, 542 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Foreword : a bird's-eye view of human language and evolution / Robert C. Berwick and Noam Chomsky --
[pt.] I. Introduction. The design principles of natural language / Martin Everaert and Riny Huybregts --
Evolution, memory, and the nature of syntactic representation / Gary F. Marcus --
Convergence and deep homology in the evolution of spoken language / W. Tecumseh Fitch and Daniel Mietchen --
Evolution of brain pathways for vocal learning in birds and humans / Erich D. Jarvis --
[pt.] II. Acquisition of birdsong and speech. Behavioral similarities between birdsong and spoken language / Sanne Moorman and Johan J. Bolhuis --
Parametric variation : language and birdsong / Neil Smith and Ann Law --
Vocal culture in songbirds : an experimental approach to cultural evolution / Olga Fehér and Ofer Tchernichovski --
Acquisition of linguistic categories : cross-domain convergences / Frank Wijnen --
[pt.] III. Phonology and syntax. Structure in human phonology and in birdsong : a phonologist's perspective / Moira Yip --
Recursivity of language : what can birds tell us about it? / Eric Reuland --
Finite-state song syntax in Bengalese finches : sensorimotor evidence, developmental processes, and formal procedures for syntax extraction / Kazuo Okanoya --
Analyzing the structure of bird vocalizations and language : finding common ground / Carel ten Cate, Robert Lachlan, and Willem Zuidema --
Phonological awareness in grey parrots : creation of new labels from existing vocalizations / Irene M. Pepperberg --
[pt.] IV. Neurobiology of song and speech. The neural basis of links and dissociations between speech perception and production / Sophie K. Scott, Carolyn McGettigan, and Frank Eisner --
Neural mechanisms of auditory learning and memory in songbirds and mammals / Sharon M.H. Gobes, Jonathan B. Fritz, and Johan J. Bolhuis --
Age effects in language acquisition and attrition / Christophe Pallier --
A "birdsong perspective" on human speech production / Hermann Ackermann and Wolfram Ziegler --
Neural mechanisms underlying the generation of birdsong : a modular sequential behavior / Michale S. Fee and Michael A. Long --
Auditory-vocal mirror neurons for learned vocal communication / Jonathan F. Prather and Richard Mooney --
Peripheral mechanisms of vocalization in birds : a comparison with human speech / Gabriël J.L. Beckers --
[pt.] V. Genes, song, speech, and language. Building bridges between genes, brains, and language / Simon E. Fisher --
A bird's-eye view of FoxP2 / Constance Scharff and Christopher K. Thompson --
Genetic basis of language : insights from developmental dyslexia / Franck Ramus --
[pt.] VI. Evolution of song, speech, and language. Musical protolanguage : Darwin's theory of language evolution revisited / W. Tecumseh Fitch --
Birdsong as a model for studying factors and mechanisms affecting signal evolution / Kazuo Okanoya --
Evolution of vocal communication : an avian model / Irene M. Pepperberg.
Responsibility: edited by Johan J. Bolhuis and Martin Everaert ; foreword by Robert C. Berwick and Noam Chomsky.

Abstract:

Scholars have long been captivated by the parallels between birdsong and human speech and language. In this book, leading scholars draw on the latest research to explore what birdsong can tell us about the biology of human speech and language and the consequences for evolutionary biology. They examine the cognitive and neural similarities between birdsong learning and speech and language acquisition, considering vocal imitation, auditory learning, an early vocalization phase ("babbling"), the structural properties of birdsong and human language, and the striking similarities between the neural organization of learning and vocal production in birdsong and human speech. After outlining the basic issues involved in the study of both language and evolution, the contributors compare birdsong and language in terms of acquisition, recursion, and core structural properties, and then examine the neurobiology of song and speech, genomic factors, and the emergence and evolution of language.

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Evaluating the book as a whole, it is simply a splendid piece of scholarship. -- Darcy Sperlich * The Linguist List *

 
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