Denis Bouchard looks at how the human brain got the capacity for language and how language evolved.
Author: Denis Bouchard
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
This book looks at how the human brain got the capacity for language and how language then evolved. The author argues that language is a system of signs, considers how these elements first came together in the brain, and examines the brain mechanisms that allowed their formation. He shows that his explanation of language origins and evolution is consistent with the complex properties of languages and that it offers insights to both language learnability andconstructions that have defied decades of linguistic analysis. This outstandingly original account will interest linguists, cognitive scientists, and others interested in the evolution of language.
In the lead essay, Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney draw on their decades-long pioneering research on monkeys and baboons in the wild to show how primates use vocalizations to modulate social dynamics.
Author: Robert M. Seyfarth
Publisher: Princeton University Press
How human language evolved from the need for social communication The origins of human language remain hotly debated. Despite growing appreciation of cognitive and neural continuity between humans and other animals, an evolutionary account of human language—in its modern form—remains as elusive as ever. The Social Origins of Language provides a novel perspective on this question and charts a new path toward its resolution. In the lead essay, Robert Seyfarth and Dorothy Cheney draw on their decades-long pioneering research on monkeys and baboons in the wild to show how primates use vocalizations to modulate social dynamics. They argue that key elements of human language emerged from the need to decipher and encode complex social interactions. In other words, social communication is the biological foundation upon which evolution built more complex language. Seyfarth and Cheney’s argument serves as a jumping-off point for responses by John McWhorter, Ljiljana Progovac, Jennifer E. Arnold, Benjamin Wilson, Christopher I. Petkov and Peter Godfrey-Smith, each of whom draw on their respective expertise in linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology. Michael Platt provides an introduction, Seyfarth and Cheney a concluding essay. Ultimately, The Social Origins of Language offers thought-provoking viewpoints on how human language evolved.
Grimm does not speculate on the “ nonlinguistic ” origins of human oral communication but offers a linguist's views ( in a highly rhetorical , almost poetical style ) on three periods of the development of human language , which ...
This volume, left nearly completed at his death and edited posthumously by Joel F. Sherzer, is his last major study of this difficult subject.
Author: Morris Swadesh
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Morris Swadesh, one of this century's foremost scien- tific investigators of language, dedicated much of his life to the study of the origin and evolution of language. This volume, left nearly completed at his death and edited posthumously by Joel F. Sherzer, is his last major study of this difficult subject. Swadesh discusses the simple qualities of human speech also present in animal language, and establishes distinctively human techniques of expression by comparing the common features that are found in modern and ancient languages. He treats the diversification of language not only by isolating root words in different languages, but also by dealing with sound systems, with forms of composition, and with sentence structure. In so doing, he demonstrates the evidence for the expansion of all language from a single central area. Swadesh supports his hypothesis by "exhibits" that conveniently present the evidence in tabular form. Further clarity is provided by the use of a suggestive practical phonetic system, intelligible to the student as well as to the professional. The book also contains an Appendix, in which the distinguished ethnographer of language, Dell Hymes, gives a valuable account of the prewar linguistic tradition within which Swadesh did some of his most important work. Morris Swadesh (1909-1967) initiated or was associated with the introduction of many new approaches in scientific linguistics, including phonemics, glottochronology, and new concepts of language evolution. At the time of his death, he was research professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Joel F. Sherzer is a professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author, editor, or compiler of many books, including Stories, Myths, Chants, and Songs of the Kuna Indians, Speech Play and Verbal Art, and Verbal Art in San Blas: Kuna Culture through its Discourse.
With that, we are launched into one of the most sophisticated and anthropologically informed treatments of the origins of language and of consciousness, set forth within a broadly Marxist framework. Trån Duc Thao proceeds from the ...
Author: Trân Duc Thao
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Tran Duc Thao, a wise and learned scientist and an eminent Marxist philoso pher, begins this treatise on the origins of language and consciousness with a question: "One of the principal difficulties of the problem of the origin of consciousness is the exact determination of its beginnings. Precisely where must one draw the line between the sensori-motor psychism of animals and the conscious psychism that we see developing in man?" And then he cites Karl Marx's famous passage about 'the bee and the architect' from Capital: ... what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in the imagination before he erects it in reality. At the end of every labor process, we get a result that already existed in the imagination of the laborer at its commencement. (Capital, Vol. I, p. 178, tr. Moore and Aveling) Thao follows this immediately with a second question: "But is this the most elementary form of consciousness?" Thus the conundrum concerning the origins of consciousness is posed as a circle: if human consciousness pre supposes representation (of the external reality, of mental awareness, of actions, of what it may), and if this consciousness emerges first with the activity of production using tools, and if the production of tools itself pre supposes representation - that is, with an image of what is to be produced in the mind of the producer - then the conditions for the origins of human
Definition of language - Metaphorical application of the term Natural signs -- Symbolical representations ... by the Hebrew and English languages - Radical expressive sounds and letters - The object of language THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE ...
In The Origins of Writing , W . M . Senner ( ed . ) , 27 - 40 . Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press . Schrift , A . D . ( 1985 ) . Language , metaphor , rhetoric : Nietzsche ' s deconstruction of epistemology .
Author: Marcel Danesi
Publisher: Bloomington, Ind. : Indiana University Press
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
The origin of language is one of the deep mysteries of human existence. Drawing upon the work of the eighteenth-century Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico, Marcel Danesi fashions a persuasive, original account of the evolution and development of language. Seeking to reconstruct the primitive mind that generated language and the evolutionary events that must have preceded the advent of speech, he takes Vico's insight that mind, culture, and language evolved from the uniquely human faculty known as fantasia ("the imagination") and sketches a "primal scene" of compelling interest. Danesi identifies metaphor, the feature of mind that transforms iconic, perceptual thinking into conceptual thinking, as the crucial event in the Vichian scenario. The description of this scenario forms the core of Vico, Metaphor, and the Origin of Language. Danesi then evaluates the Vichian reconstruction of the origin of language in light of contemporary research in the cognitive, social, and biological sciences and with competing theories.
Author: Lord James Burnett MonboddoPublish On: 1774
1 C. 16. his own language * And if the reader wants examples from other languages , he may consult the author of the Mechanism of Language , where he will find very many instances from different languages , particularly with respect to ...
When such words lose this signification , and denote something else , not correspopdent to their etymology , it is an abuse and corruption of language , but such as is very common in modern languages ; to which , if it be once firmly ...