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The evolution of language

Author: W Tecumseh Fitch
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Language, more than anything else, is what makes us human. It appears that no communication system of equivalent power exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Any normal human child will learn a language based on rather sparse data in the surrounding world, while even the brightest chimpanzee, exposed to the same environment, will not. Why not? How, and why, did language evolve in our species and not in others?"  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: W Tecumseh Fitch
ISBN: 9780521859936 052185993X 9780521677363 052167736X
OCLC Number: 428024376
Description: xii, 610 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Contents: The lay of the land. Language from a biological perspective ; Evolution : consensus and controversy ; Language ; Animal cognition and communication --
Meet the ancestors. Meet the ancestors ; The LCA : our last common ancestor with chimpanzees ; Hominid paleontology and archaeology --
The evolution of speech. The evolution of the human vocal tract ; The evolution of vocal control : the neural basis for spoken language ; Models of the evolution of speech and phonology --
Evaluating phylogenetic models of language evolution. Historical overview : Western theories of language origin before Darwin ; Lexical protolanguage ; Signs before speech : gestural protolanguage theories ; Musical protolanguage ; Conclusions and prospects.
Responsibility: W. Tecumseh Fitch.
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Brings together the most important insights from the vast amount of literature on the origin of language.  Read more...

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'The evolution of language has been described as the hardest problem in science, fraught with conflict, entrenched views, and misunderstandings between the multifarious disciplines involved. Fitch Read more...

 
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schema:reviewBody""Language, more than anything else, is what makes us human. It appears that no communication system of equivalent power exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Any normal human child will learn a language based on rather sparse data in the surrounding world, while even the brightest chimpanzee, exposed to the same environment, will not. Why not? How, and why, did language evolve in our species and not in others?" "Since Darwin's theory of evolution, questions about the origin of language have generated a rapidly growing scientific literature, stretched across a number of disciplines, much of it directed at specialist audiences. The diversity of perspectives - from linguistics, anthropology, speech science, genetics, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology - can be bewildering. Covering diverse and fascinating topics, from Kaspar Hauser to Clever Hans, Tecumseh Fitch provides a clear and comprehensible guide to this vast literature, bringing together its most important insights to explore one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of human history."--BOOK JACKET."
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