Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2589-1588
  • E-ISSN: 2589-1596
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There has been a long-standing controversy in the context of language evolution on whether the original function of human language was internal thought or external communication. However, given the fact that language clearly serves both functions, internalization and externalization must have been co-evolutionarily acted in the emergence of human language. This article proposes a theoretical hypothesis about this co-evolutionary relationship of internalization and externalization, which especially explains the emergence of the human lexicon. To discuss the evolution of language from a comprehensive perspective, this article proposes a promising model that integrates two approaches with different standpoints: generative grammar and cognitive linguistics. This paper also examines the definition and nature of the lexicon and lexical items based on this integrated model. The hypothesis presented here demonstrates that the co-evolutionary work of internalization and externalization has been involved in two processes in the development of the lexicon: the establishment of syntactic objects (lexical items) and the improvement of creativity responsible for the expansion of lexicon size. The main conclusion is that these processes have formed a positive feedback loop and provided our lexicon with complex and unique properties.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): co-evolution; externalization; internalization; lexical items as concepts; lexicon
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