LINGUIST List 15.2111

Wed Jul 21 2004

Books: Cognitive Science: Wildgen

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  1. paul, The Evolution of Human Language: Wildgen

Message 1: The Evolution of Human Language: Wildgen

Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 16:03:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: paul <>
Subject: The Evolution of Human Language: Wildgen

Title: The Evolution of Human Language
Subtitle: Scenarios, principles, and cultural dynamics
Series Title: Advances in Consciousness Research 57

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher:	John Benjamins

Book URL:

Author: Wolfgang Wildgen, University of Bremen

Hardback: ISBN: 9027251932, Pages: xii, 240 pp., Price: EURO 90.00


Wolfgang Wildgen presents three perspectives on the evolution of
language as a key element in the evolution of mankind in terms of the
development of human symbol use. (1) He approaches this question by
constructing possible scenarios in which mechanisms necessary for
symbolic behavior could have developed, on the basis of the state of
the art in evolutionary anthropology and genetics. (2) Non-linguistic
symbolic behavior such as cave art is investigated as an important
clue to the developmental background to the origin of
language. Creativity and innovation and a population's ability to
integrate individual experiments are considered with regard to
historical examples of symbolic creativity in the visual arts and
natural sciences. (3) Probable linguistic 'fossils' of such linguistic
innovations are examined.

The results of this study allow for new proposals for a
'protolanguage' and for a theory of language within a broader
philosophical and semiotic framework, and raises interesting questions
as to human consciousness, universal grammar, and linguistic
methodology. (Series B)

Table of contents

Acknowledgments xi
1. Introduction 1
2. Basic scenarios and forces in the evolution of human language 5
3. Expression and appeal in animal and human communication with
special consideration of laughter 25
4. The evolution of cognitive control in tool-making and tool-use and
the emergence of a theory of mind 43
5. The evolution of pre-historic art and the transition to writing
systems 61
6. Symbolic creativity in language, art, and science and the cultural
dynamics of symbolic forms 93
7. "Fossils" of evolution in the lexicon of HAND and EYE (mainly in
German, English and French) 137
8. The form of a "protolanguage" and the contours of a theory of
language evolution 159
9. Symbolic forms, generalized media, and their evolution 185
10. Consciousness, linguistic universals, and the methodology of
linguistics 199
Notes 209
References 215
Index of proper names 229
Subject index 233
Index of principles and hypotheses 237

Lingfield(s):	Cognitive Science
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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