The Talking Ape

How Language Evolved

Author: Robbins Burling

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191509183

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 304

View: 1554

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In this mind-opening book, Robbins Burling presents the most convincing - and the most readable - account of the origins of language yet published. He sheds new light on how language affects the way we think, behave, and relate to each other, and he gives us a deeper understanding of the nature of language itself. The author traces language back to its earliest origins among our distant ape-like forbears several million years ago. He offers a new account of the route by which we acquired our defining characteristic and explores the changing nature of language as it developed through the course of our evolution. He considers what the earliest forms of communication are likely to have been, how they worked, and why they were deployed. He examines the qualities of mind and brain needed to support the operations of language and the advantages they offered for survival and reproduction. He investigates the beginnings and prehistories of vocabulary and grammar; and connects work in fields extending from linguistics, sign languages, and psychology to palaeontology, evolutionary biology, and archaeology. And he does all this in a style that is crystal-clear, constantly enlivened by wit and humour.

The Origins of Meaning

Language in the Light of Evolution

Author: James R. Hurford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199207852

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 388

View: 2479

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"In this engagingly written and broadly interdisciplinary book, Jim Hurford integrates findings from ethology and neuroscience with concepts from philosophy and linguistics to make an explicit and convincing case that animals have rich concepts, and thus that meaning predated language. This is a work of broad scope and significance." W. Tecumesh Fitch, Lecturer in Psychology, University of St. Andrews,from the bookjacket.

Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language

Author: Robin Dunbar

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 0571265189

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 240

View: 2399

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Did mankind evolve unusually large brains simply in order to gossip? Primates differ from other animals by the intensity of their social relationships, by the amount of time they spend grooming one another. Not just a matter of hygiene, grooming is all about cementing bonds, making friends and influencing your fellow ape. Early humans, in their characteristic large groups of 150 or so, would have had to spend almost half their time in mutual grooming. Instead, Professor Robin Dunbar argues, they evolved a more efficient mechanism: language. It seems there is nothing idle about idle chatter. Having a good gossip ensures that a dynamic group - of hunter-gatherers, soldiers, workmates - remains cohesive. Men and women 'gossip' equally, but men tend to talk about themselves, while women talk more about other people, working to strengthen the female-female relationships that underpin both human and primate societies. Until now, most anthropologists have assumed that language developed in male-male relationships, during activities such as hunting. Dunbar's intriguing research suggests that, to the contrary, language evolved among women.

Developments in Primate Gesture Research

Author: Simone Pika,Katja Liebal

Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing

ISBN: 9027228485

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 3688

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The book is a themed, mutually referenced collection of articles from a very high-powered set of authors based on the workshop on “Current developments in non-human primate gesture research”, which was held in July 2010 at the European University Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), Germany. The motivation for this book – following on from the motivation for the workshop series – was to present the state of the art in non-human primate gesture research with a special emphasis on its history, interdisciplinary perspectives, developments and future directions. This book provides, for the first time in a single volume, the most recent work on comparative gestural signaling by many of the major scholars in the field, such as W.D. Hopkins, D. Leavens, T. Racine, J. van Hooff, and S. Wilcox (in alphabetical order).

From Hand to Mouth

The Origins of Language

Author: Michael C. Corballis

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691116730

Category: Science

Page: 257

View: 847

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A psychologist shows how gestures rather than sounds formed the basis of language fundamentals, using evidence from anthropology, animal behavior, neurology, molecular biology, and anatomy to make his case.

Die Natur der Sprache

Evolution, Paradigmen und Schaltkreise

Author: Dieter Hillert

Publisher: Springer-Verlag

ISBN: 3658201134

Category: Psychology

Page: 264

View: 8989

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Dieter Hillert untersucht, wie Bausteine der sprachlichen Evolution diskutiert werden können und wie sich diese in Bezug auf den modernen Menschen entwickelt haben. Insbesondere die hier vorgestellten neuronalen Kartierungsmethoden ermöglichen, wichtige Ergebnisse über die neuronalen Schaltkreise zu gewinnen, die an der Sprachverarbeitung beteiligt sind. Der Autor verdeutlich zudem kortikale Kartierungen sowohl bei typischem und als auch bei atypischem Sprachverhalten. Entsprechend wird aus diesen angesprochenen Perspektiven besprochen, wie sich unser Sprachvermögen evolutionär entwickelten hat, um beispielsweise Ideen, Gefühle, Ziele und Humor lautsprachlich vermitteln zu können. Das vorgestellte evolutionäre Sprachmodell beruht auf den kognitiven Fähigkeiten unserer biologischen Vorahnen.

Language

Author: George Melville Bolling,Bernard Bloch

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Language and languages

Page: N.A

View: 1516

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Cultural Anthropology: The Human Challenge

Author: William A. Haviland,Harald E. L. Prins,Bunny McBride,Dana Walrath

Publisher: Cengage Learning

ISBN: 1111790426

Category: Social Science

Page: 480

View: 6042

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Offering compelling photos, engaging examples, and select studies by anthropologists in a variety of locations around the globe, this streamlined, market-leading text presents cultural anthropology in vivid, accessible terms showing students how the field is relevant to understanding the complex world around them. The authors present the fundamental concepts from a holistic perspective using three unifying themes to frame the text: 1) the varied ways humans face the challenges of existence, 2) the connections between culture and biology in shaping human beliefs and behavior, and 3) the impact of globalization on peoples and cultures around the world. They also integrate coverage of race, class, gender, and ethnicity throughout the text, and in this edition, they have expanded the popular Globalscape feature to get students thinking about the consequences of globalization and (sometimes) their own behavior. Furthermore, the text's strong supplements program provides instructors and students with a wealth of resources designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.

Origins of Language

A Slim Guide

Author: James Raymond Hurford,James R. Hurford

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198701888

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 192

View: 9401

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This book offers an accessible overview of what is known about the evolution of the human capacity for language and what sets human language apart from the simple communication systems used by non-human animals. It draws on a wide range of disciplines, including philosophy, neuroscience, genetics, and animal behaviour.

Self-organization in the evolution of speech

Author: Pierre-Yves Oudeyer

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 177

View: 2208

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Speech is the principal supporting medium of language. In this book Pierre-Yves Oudeyer considers how spoken language first emerged. He presents an original and integrated view of the interactions between self-organization and natural selection, reformulates questions about the origins ofspeech, and puts forward what at first sight appears to be a startling proposal - that speech can be spontaneously generated by the coupling of evolutionarily simple neural structures connecting perception and production. He explores this hypothesis by constructing a computational system to modelthe effects of linking auditory and vocal motor neural nets. He shows that a population of agents which used holistic and unarticulated vocalizations at the outset are inexorably led to a state in which their vocalizations have become discrete, combinatorial, and categorized in the same way by allgroup members. Furthermore, the simple syntactic rules that have emerged to regulate the combinations of sounds exhibit the fundamental properties of modern human speech systems.This original and fascinating account will interest all those interested in the evolution of speech.

Das Königreich der Sprache

Author: Tom Wolfe

Publisher: Karl Blessing Verlag

ISBN: 3641209234

Category: Art

Page: 224

View: 4876

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In den vergangenen 150 Jahren wurden von der Entdeckung des Penizillins über die Entschlüsselung der menschlichen DNS bis zum Nachweis des Higgs-Bosons kolossale Fortschritte gemacht. Doch an einer der drängendsten Fragen der Menschheitsgeschichte - Wo liegt der Ursprung der menschlichen Sprache? - scheitert die Wissenschaft bis heute. Das hat, wie Tom Wolfe genüsslich darlegt, führende Forscher von Charles Darwin bis Noam Chomsky jedoch zu keiner Zeit davon abgehalten, grandiose Erfolge zu verkünden, die gar keine waren, Konkurrenten zu diffamieren, anstatt eigene Fehler einzugestehen, und generell des Kaisers neue Kleider in den schillerndsten Farben zu beschreiben. In Das Königreich der Sprache vertritt Wolfe die These, wonach die Sprache die erste kulturelle Leistung des Menschen und somit nicht mit der Evolutiontheorie oder wissenschaftlicher Systematik zu erklären ist.

The genesis of grammar

a reconstruction

Author: Bernd Heine,Tania Kuteva

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: N.A

Category: Fiction

Page: 418

View: 1931

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"This book reconstructs what the earliest grammars might have been and shows how they could have led to the languages of modern humankind. "Like other biological phenomena, language cannot be fully understood without reference to its evolution, whether proven or hypothesized," wrote Talmy Givón in 2002. As the languages spoken 8,000 years ago were typologically much the same as they are today and as no direct evidence exists for languages before then, evolutionary linguists are at a disadvantage compared to their counterparts in biology. Bernd Heine and Tania Kuteva seek to overcome this obstacle by combining grammaticalization theory, one of the main methods of historical linguistics, with work in animal communication and human evolution. The questions they address include: do the modern languages derive from one ancestral language or from more than one? What was the structure of language like when it first evolved? And how did the properties associated with modern human languages arise, in particular syntax and the recursive use of language structures? The authors proceed on the assumption that if language evolution is the result of language change then the reconstruction of the former can be explored by deploying the processes involved in the latter. Their measured arguments and crystal-clear exposition will appeal to all those interested in the evolution of language, from advanced undergraduates to linguists, cognitive scientists, human biologists, and archaeologists.

Evolution of Communication Systems

A Comparative Approach

Author: Katrin Schäfer,Thomas Pradeu

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262151115

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 338

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Laying foundations for an interdisciplinary approach to the study of evolution in communication systems with tools from evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental psychology, philosophy, cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural network modeling. The search for origins of communication in a wide variety of species including humans is rapidly becoming a thoroughly interdisciplinary enterprise. In this volume, scientists engaged in the fields of evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental psychology, philosophy, the cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural network modeling come together to explore a comparative approach to the evolution of communication systems. The comparisons range from parrot talk to squid skin displays, from human language to Aibo the robot dog's language learning, and from monkey babbling to the newborn human infant cry. The authors explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding the emergence of human language, which they propose to be intricately connected with drastic changes in human lifestyle. While it is not yet clear what the physical environmental circumstances were that fostered social changes in the hominid line, the volume offers converging evidence and theory from several lines of research suggesting that language depended upon the restructuring of ancient human social groups. The volume also offers new theoretical treatments of both primitive communication systems and human language, providing new perspectives on how to recognize both their similarities and their differences. Explorations of new technologies in robotics, neural network modeling and pattern recognition offer many opportunities to simulate and evaluate theoretical proposals. The North American and European scientists who have contributed to this volume represent a vanguard of thinking about how humanity came to have the capacity for language and how nonhumans provide a background of remarkable capabilities that help clarify the foundations of speech.

Animal Talk

Breaking the Codes of Animal Language

Author: Tim Friend

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 9780743201582

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 6042

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An authoritative study of the mysteries of animal communication draws on the latest scientific research and real-life animal stories to explain the diverse ways in which wild animals of various species communicate with one another. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

Uniquely Human

The Evolution of Speech, Thought, and Selfless Behavior

Author: Philip Lieberman

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674921832

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 210

View: 7772

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In a stimulating synthesis of cognitive science, anthropology, and linguistics, Philip Lieberman tackles the fundamental questions of human nature: How and why are human beings so different from other species? Can the Darwinian theory of evolution explain human linguistic and cognitive ability? How do our processes of language and thought differ from those of Homo erectus 500,000 years ago, or of the Neanderthals 35,000 years ago? What accounts for human moral sense? Lieberman believes that evolution for rapid, efficient vocal communication forged modern human beings by creating the modern human brain. Earlier hominids lacked fully human speech and syntax, which together allow us to convey complex thoughts rapidly. The author discusses how natural selection acted on older brain mechanisms to produce a structure that can regulate the motor activity necessary for speech and command the complex syntax that enhances the creativity of human language. The unique brain mechanisms underlying human language also enhance human cognitive ability, allowing us to derive abstract concepts and to plan complex activities. These factors are necessary for the development of true altruism and moral behavior. Lieberman supports his argument about the evolution of speech and the human brain by combining the comparative method of Charles Darwin, insights from archaeology and child development, and the results of high-tech research with computerized brain scanning and computer models that can recreate speech sounds made by our ancestors over 100,000 years ago. Uniquely Human will stimulate fresh thought and controversy on the basic question of how we came to be.

The Talking Ape

Author: Keith Laidler

Publisher: Stein & Day Pub

ISBN: N.A

Category: Science

Page: 181

View: 2325

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Using speech-training programs developed for autistic children, Keith Laidler explains how he taught a two-year-old orangutan to communicate

The Singing Neanderthals

The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body

Author: Steven J. Mithen

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674021921

Category: Music

Page: 374

View: 9934

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The propensity to make music is the most mysterious, wonderful, and neglected feature of humankind: this is where Steven Mithen began, drawing together strands from archaeology, anthropology, psychology, neuroscience--and, of course, musicology--to explain why we are so compelled to make and hear music. But music could not be explained without addressing language, and could not be accounted for without understanding the evolution of the human body and mind. Thus Mithen arrived at the wildly ambitious project that unfolds in this book: an exploration of music as a fundamental aspect of the human condition, encoded into the human genome during the evolutionary history of our species. Music is the language of emotion, common wisdom tells us. In The Singing Neanderthals, Mithen introduces us to the science that might support such popular notions. With equal parts scientific rigor and charm, he marshals current evidence about social organization, tool and weapon technologies, hunting and scavenging strategies, habits and brain capacity of all our hominid ancestors, from australopithecines to Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthals to Homo sapiens--and comes up with a scenario for a shared musical and linguistic heritage. Along the way he weaves a tapestry of cognitive and expressive worlds--alive with vocalized sound, communal mimicry, sexual display, and rhythmic movement--of various species. The result is a fascinating work--and a succinct riposte to those, like Steven Pinker, who have dismissed music as a functionless evolutionary byproduct.