New Perspectives on the Origins of Language

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  • Editors: Claire Lefebvre1, Bernard Comrie2, and Henri Cohen3
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 2013
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027271136

The question of how language emerged is one of the most fascinating and difficult problems in science. In recent years, a strong resurgence of interest in the emergence of language from an evolutionary perspective has been helped by the convergence of approaches, methods, and ideas from several disciplines. The selection of contributions in this volume highlight scenarios of language origin and the prerequisites for a faculty of language based on biological, historical, social, cultural, and paleontological forays into the conditions that brought forth and favored language emergence, augmented by insights from sister disciplines. The chapters all reflect new speculation, discoveries and more refined research methods leading to a more focused understanding of the range of possibilities and how we might choose among them. There is much that we do not yet know, but the outlines of the path ahead are ever clearer.

Subjects: Evolution of language; Theoretical linguistics; Historical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Université du Quebec à Montréal; 2: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; 3: Université du Quebec à Montréal / Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

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