Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Book Information

   

Title: The Prehistory of Language
Edited By: Rudolf P. Botha
Christopher Knight
Series Title: Studies in the Evolution of Language
Description:

'When, why, and how did language evolve?' 'Why do only humans have
language?' This book looks at these and other questions about the origins
and evolution of language. It does so via a rich diversity of perspectives,
including social, cultural, archaeological, palaeoanthropological,
musicological, anatomical, neurobiological, primatological, and linguistic.
Among the subjects it considers are: how far sociality is a prerequisite
for language; the evolutionary links between language and music; the
relation between natural selection and niche construction; the origins of
the lexicon; the role of social play in language development; the use of
signs by great apes; the evolution of syntax; the evolutionary biology of
language; the insights offered by Chomsky's biolinguistic approach to mind
and language; the emergence of recursive language; the selectional
advantages of the human vocal tract; and why women speak better than men.

The authors, drawn from all over the world, are prominent linguists,
psychologists, cognitive scientists, archaeologists, primatologists, social
anthropologists, and specialists in artificial intelligence. As well as
explaining what is understood about the evolution of language, they look
squarely at the formidable obstacles to knowing more - the absence of
direct evidence, for example; the problems of using indirect evidence; the
lack of a common conception of language; confusion about the operation of
natural selection and other processes of change; the scope for
misunderstanding in a multi-disciplinary field, and many more. Despite
these difficulties, the authors in their stylish and readable contributions
to this book are able to show just how much has been achieved in this most
fruitful and fascinating area of research in the social, natural, and
cognitive sciences.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199545871
ISBN-13: 9780199545872
Pages: 352
Prices: U.S. $ 135.00

 
 
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 019954588X
ISBN-13: 9780199545889
Pages: 352
Prices: U.S. $ 45.95