Evolution of language has evolved at multiple levels--from changes in the
cognitive processes by which language is acquired in the individual, to
language change by diffusion of acquired linguistic features across
populations of individuals, to the emergence of linguistic features over
phylogenetic time scales. Evolution of language at each of these levels
interacts with that at each other level.
This volume is a collection of essays by noted researchers from diverse
fields that deals with a broad spectrum of issues in the study of language
evolution. The principle topics addressed here include:
(1) the genetic and cognitive bases for the phylogenetic emergence of
(2) several distinct accounts of the underlying cognitive processes by
which children learn to acquire language;
(3) a critique of the methods employed by historical linguists in the last
(4) the modeling of language evolution using mathematical and computational
(5) discussions on the complexity of language.