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Book Information

   
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Title: The Origin of Speech
Written By: Peter F MacNeilage
Series Title: Oxford Studies in the Evolution of Language
Description:

This book explores the origin and evolution of speech. The human speech
system is in a league of its own in the animal kingdom and its possession
dwarfs most other evolutionary achievements. During every second of speech
we unconsciously use about 225 distinct muscle actions. To investigate the
evolutionary origins of this prodigious ability, Peter MacNeilage draws on
work in linguistics, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and animal
behavior. He puts forward a neo-Darwinian account of speech as a process of
descent in which ancestral vocal capabilities became modified in response
to natural selection pressures for more efficient communication. His
proposals include the crucial observation that present-day infants learning
to produce speech reveal constraints that were acting on our ancestors as
they invented new words long ago.

This important and original investigation integrates the latest research on
modern speech capabilities, their acquisition, and their neurobiology,
including the issues surrounding the cerebral hemispheric specialization
for speech. Written in a clear style with minimal recourse to jargon the
book will interest a wide range of readers in cognitive, neuro-, and
evolutionary science, as well as all those seeking to understand the nature
and evolution of speech and human communication.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Psycholinguistics
Anthropological Linguistics
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: Paperback
ISBN: 0199581584
ISBN-13: 9780199581580
Pages: 408
Prices: U.S. $ 39.95