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Origins of Language. Constraints on hypotheses.

Author: Sverker Johansson
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company 2005.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Sverker Johansson has written an unusual book on language origins, with its emphasis on empirical evidence rather than theory-building. This is a book for the student or researcher who prefers solid data and well-supported conclusions, over speculative scenarios. Much that has been written on the origins of language is characterized by hypothesizing largely unconstrained by evidence. But empirical data do exist, and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic resource
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Sverker Johansson
ISBN: 9027294607 9789027294609 1282156888 9781282156883
OCLC Number: 732803871
Description: 1 online resource (358)
Contents: Cover --
Editorial page --
Title page --
LCC data --
Table of contents --
List of Figures --
List of Tables --
Preface --
1. INTRODUCTION --
2. WHAT IS LANGUAGE? --
Further reading --
3. THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION --
3.1 Natural selection as an abstract process --
3.2 Variation, randomness, and mutation --
3.3 Limitations and misunderstandings of evolution --
3.4 Cultural evolution --
3.5 Evolutionary theory as applied to language --
3.6 The time scale of evolution --
3.7 Summary --
Further reading --
4. HUMAN ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION --
4.1 Mammals --
4.2 Primates --
4.3 Hominids --
4.4 Summary --
Further reading --
5. ANATOMICAL AND NEUROLOGICAL PREREQUISITES FOR LANGUAGE --
5.1 Sound production --
5.2 Sound perception --
5.3 Brain anatomy, modularity, and lateralization --
5.4 Summary --
Further reading --
6. ANIMAL COMMUNICATION IN THE WILD --
6.1 Do animal calls mean anything? --
6.2 Mental states of communicating animals? --
6.3 The evolution of animal communication --
6.4 Animal syntax? --
6.5 Summary --
Further reading --
7. CAN NON-HUMANS BE TAUGHT LANGUAGE? --
7.1 Apes --
7.2 Dolphins --
7.3 Parrots --
7.4 Patterns of nonhuman --
7.5 Summary --
Further reading --
8. LANGUAGE, MIND, AND SELF --
8.1 What is Mind 8212;the 8216;hard problem8217; --
8.2 What is mind 8212;the 8216;easy problem8217; 8212; and do animals have it? --
8.3 Summary --
Further reading --
9. HYPOTHESES OF LANGUAGE ORIGINS --
9.1 Historical background --
9.2 Dimensions of language evolution hypotheses --
9.3 Adaptation vs. spandrel --
9.4 Early vs. late --
9.5 Gradual vs. sudden --
9.6 Speech first vs. gestures first --
9.7 Innate and genetically determined vs. learned and culturally determined --
9.8 Summary --
Further reading --
10. WHY DID LANGUAGE EVOLVE? --
10.1 Hunting --
10.2 Tool making --
10.3 Sexual selection --
10.4 Child care and teaching --
10.5 Social relations in groups and tribes --
10.6 Miscellaneous ideas --
10.7 Why us and not the other apes? --
10.8 Summary --
Further reading --
11. PROTOLANGUAGE --
11.1 Protospeech --
11.2 Protogestures --
11.3 Protosemantics --
11.4 Protosyntax --
11.5 How can all the protos be combined? --
11.6 Summary --
Further reading --
12. CONCLUSIONS --
References --
Index --
The series Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research.

Abstract:

Sverker Johansson has written an unusual book on language origins, with its emphasis on empirical evidence rather than theory-building. This is a book for the student or researcher who prefers solid data and well-supported conclusions, over speculative scenarios. Much that has been written on the origins of language is characterized by hypothesizing largely unconstrained by evidence. But empirical data do exist, and the purpose of this book is to integrate and review the available evidence from all relevant disciplines, not only linguistics but also, e.g., neurology, primatology, paleoanthropo.

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