1887
Holophrasis vs Compositionality in the Emergence of Protolanguage
  • ISSN 1572-0373
  • E-ISSN: 1572-0381
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

One important difference between existing accounts of protolanguage lies in their assumptions on the semantic complexity of protolinguistic utterances. I bring evidence about the nature of linguistic communication to bear on the plausibility of these assumptions, and show that communication is fundamentally inferential and characterised by semantic uncertainty. This not only allows individuals to maintain variation in linguistic representation, but also imposes a selection pressure that meanings be reconstructible from context. I argue that protolanguage utterances had varying degrees of semantic complexity, and developed into complex language gradually, through the same processes of re-analysis and analogy which still underpin continual change in modern languages.
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/is.9.1.08smi
2008-01-01
2019-10-15
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/is.9.1.08smi
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): inference , language evolution , meaning , protolanguage , reanalysis and semantic reconstructability

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error