A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.
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 of speech, 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
He explores this hypothesis by constructing a computational system to model
the 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 all
group members. Furthermore, the simple syntactic rules that have emerged to
regulate the combinations of sounds exhibit the fundamental properties of
modern human speech systems.