The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-09-15
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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In The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution, sixty leading scholars present critical accounts of every aspect of the field. Its five parts are devoted to insights from comparative animal behaviour; the biology of language evolution; the prehistory of language; the development of a linguistic species; and language creation, transmission, and change.

Research on language evolution has burgeoned over the last three decades. Interdisciplinary activity has produced fundamental advances in the understanding of language evolution and in the evolution of human andanimal communication more generally. This book presents a wide-ranging summation of work in all the disciplines involved. It highlights the links between different lines of research, shows what has been achieved, and considers promising directions for the future.

The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution will be valued by everyone interested in one of the most productive and fascinating fields in natural and cognitive science.

Author Biography

Maggie Tallerman, Newcastle University,Kathleen R. Gibson, University of Texas Houston

Maggie Tallerman is Professor of Linguistics at Newcastle University. She has spent her professional life in North East England, having previously taught for 21 years at Durham University. Her research interests centre on the origins and evolution of syntax and morphology; modern Brythonic Celtic syntax and morphology; and language typology. Her publications include Understanding Syntax (Hodder/OUPUSA, 1998; 3rd edn. 2011); with Robert D. Borsley and David Willis, The Syntax of Welsh (CUP, 2007); and, as editor, Language Origins: Perspectives on Evolution (OUP, 2005). She is also the editor of the series Palgrave Modern Linguistics. She is the co-editor with Kathleen Gibson of the series, Oxford Studies in the Evolution of Language.

Kathleen Gibson is Professor Emerita, Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Texas Houston. Her co-edited books include, with Sue T. Parker, Language' and Intelligence in Monkeys and Apes (CUP 1990); with Tim Ingold, Tools, Language, and Cognition in Human Evolution (CUP 1993); with Paul Mellars, Modelling the Early Human Mind (McDonald Archaeological Institute 1996); and, with Dean Falk, Evolutionary Anatomy of the Human Neocortex (CUP 2001). She is the co-editor with Maggie Tallerman of the series, Oxford Studies in the Evolution of Language.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The evolution of language, Maggie Tallerman and Kathleen R. Gibson
Part 1: Insights From Comparative Animal Behaviour
2. Introduction to Part 1: Insights from comparative animal behaviour, Kathleen R. Gibson and Maggie Tallerman
3. Language or Protolanguage? A review of the ape language literature, Kathleen R. Gibson
4. Primate Social Cognition as a Precursor to Language, Robert M. Seyfarth and Dorothy L. Cheney
5. Cooperative Breeding and the Evolution of Vocal Flexibility, Klaus Zuberbuhler
6. Gesture as the Most Flexible Modality of Primate Communication, Frans B. M. de Waal and Amy S. Pollick
7. Have we Underestimated Great Ape Vocal Capacities?, Katie Slocombe
8. Bird Song and Language, Peter Slater
9. Vocal Communication and Cognition in Cetaceans, Vincent M. Janik
10. Evolution of Communication and Language: Insights from parrots and songbirds, Irene M. Pepperberg
11. Are Other Animals as Smart as Great Apes? Do Others Provide Better Models for the Evolution of Speech or Language?, Kathleen R. Gibson
Part 2: The Biology of Language Evolution: Anatomy, Genetics, and Neurology
12. Introduction to Part 2: The Biology of Language Evolution: Anatomy, genetics, and neurology, Kathleen R. Gibson and Maggie Tallerman
13. Innateness and Human Language: A biological perspective, W. Tecumseh Fitch
14. Evolutionary Biological Foundations of the Origin of Language: The co-evolution of language and brain, Szabolcs Szamado and Eors Szathmary
15. Genetic Influences on Languaeg Evolution: An evaluation of the evidence, Karl C. Diller and Rebecca L. Cann
16. Not the Neocortex Alone: Other brain structures also contribute to speech and language, Kathleen R. Gibson
17. The Mimetic Origins of Language, Merlin Donald
18. Evolution of Behavioural and Brain Asymmetries in Primates, William D. Hopkins and Jacques Vauclair
19. Toward an Evolutionary Biology of Language Through Comparative Neuroanatomy, Wendy K. Wilkins
20. Mirror Systems: Evolving imitation and the bridge from praxis to language, Michael A. Arbib
21. Cognitive Prerequisites for the Evolution of Indirect Speech, Frederick L. Coolidge and Thomas Wynn
22. The Anatomical and Physiological Basis of Human Speech production: Adaptations and exaptations, Ann MacLarnon
Part 3: The Pre-history of Language: When and Why Did Language Evolve?
23. Introduction to Part 3: The pre-history of Language: When and why did language evolve?, Kathleen R. Gibson and Maggie Tallerman
24. Molecular Perspectives on Human Evolution, Rebecca L. Cann
25. The Fossil Record: Evidence for speech in early hominins, Bernard A. Wood and Amy L. Bauernfeind
26. The Genus Homo and the Origins of 'Humanness', Alan Mann
27. The Palaeolithic Record, Thomas Wynn
28. Musicality and Language, Steven Mithen
29. Linguistic Implications of the Earliest Personal Ornaments, Francesco d'Errico and Marian Vanhaeren
30. Inferring Modern Language From Ancient Objects, Rudolf Botha
31. Natural Selection-itis, David Lightfoot
32. The Role of Honimim Mothers and Infants in Prelinguistic Evolution, Dean Falk
33. Infant-directed Speech and Language Evolution, Bart de Boer
34. Displays of Vocal and Verbal Complexity: A fitness account of language, situated in development, John L. Locke
35. Tool-dependent Foraging Strategies and the Origin of Language, Kathleen R. Gibson
36. Gossip and the Social Origins of Langauge, Robin I. M. Dunbar
37. Social Conditions for teh Evolutionary Emergence of Language, Chris Knight and Camilla Power
Part 4: Launching Language: The Development of a Linguistic Species
38. Introduction to Part 4: Launching Language: The development of a linguistic species, Maggie Tallerman and Kathleen R. Gibson
39. The Role of Evolution in Shaping the Human Language Faculty, Stephen R. Anderson
40. The Origins of Meaning, James R. Hurford
41. The Origins of Language in Manual Gestures, Michael C. Corballis
42. From Sensorimotor Categories and Pantomime to Grounded Symbols and Propositions, Stevan Harnad
43. The Symbol Concept, Terrence W. Deacon
44. Words Came First: Adaptations for word-learning, Robbins Burling
45. The Emergence of Phonetic Form, Michael Studdert-Kennedy
46. The Evolution of Phonology, Peter F. MacNeilage
47. The Evolution of Morphology, Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy
48. What is Syntax?, Maggie Tallerman
49. The Origins of Syntactic Language, Derek Bickerton
50. The Evolutionary Relevance of More and Less Complex Forms of Language, Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy
51. Protolanguage, Maggie Tallerman
52. The Emergence of Language, From a Biolinguistic Point of View, Cedric Boeckx
Part 5: Language Change, Creation, and Transmission
53. Introduction to Part 5: Language Change, Creation, and Transmission, Maggie Tallerman and Kathleen R. Gibson
54. Grammaticalization Theory as a Tool for Reconstructing Language Evolution, Bernd heine and Tania Kuteva
55. Domain-general Processes as the Basis for Grammar, Joan Bybee
56. Pidgins, Creoles, and the Creation of Language, Paul T. Roberge
57. What Modern-day Gesture can tell us About Language Evolution, Susan Goldin-Meadow
58. Monogenesis or Polygenesis: A single ancestral language for all humanity?, Johanna Nichols
59. Prehistoric Population Contact and Language Change, Brigitte Pakendorf
60. Why Formal Models are Useful for Evolutionary Linguists, Kenny Smith
61. Language is an Adaptive System: The role of cultural evolution in the origins of structure, Simon Kirby
62. Robotics and Embodied Agents Modelling of the Evolution of Language, Angelo Cangelosi
63. Self-organization and Language Evolution, Bart de Boer
64. Statistical Learning and Language Acquisition, Katharing Graf Estes
65. A Solution of the Logical Problem of Language Evolution: Language as an adaptation to the human brain, Nick Chater and Morten H. Christiansen

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