LINGUIST List 13.2628

Tue Oct 15 2002

Disc: New: Darwinism & Evolution of Language

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Nemonemini, Can Darwinism explain the evolution of language?

Message 1: Can Darwinism explain the evolution of language?

Date: Mon, 14 Oct 2002 20:58:22 EDT
From: Nemonemini <>
Subject: Can Darwinism explain the evolution of language?

Reading the reviews of the new The Blank Slate by S. Pinker, the
author of The Language Instinct, I was struck by the sheer momentum of
this presumption that the evolution of language has been explained by
the theory of random mutation and natural selection. The material on
Chomsky, after all these years, omits the fact that Chomsky is/was a
critic of Darwinism.

For a debriefing of Darwin's views on the descent of man, with
linguistic aspects built in, consider the eonic model at
 and subsequent pages. The demonstration of a non-random pattern
visible in world history includes the data for some very high level
phenomena, and we find, for example, the transformation of the Greek
'in stream' corpus transformed in the Greek Archaic an aspect of
historical evolutionary emergentism. This inclues the Homeric corpus,
the data of the Lyric Age, Greek Tragedy, etc... The remarkable
aspect of this flowering is its 'timing', both in its onset, and
passing away. The question is, then, if evolutionary transformations
can seed in tempo and place, according to a complex frequency system,
the highest manifestations of culture, what is our confidence that
random genetic evolution accounts for the rapid linguistic-cultural
transformations in the descent of man? Does Pinker on language hold
up? Can we feel confidence there?

John Landon
Website on the eonic effect
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