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The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution

New from Cambridge University Press!


Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'

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Free Access 4 You

Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.

Book Information


Title: Bio-Linguistics
Subtitle: The Santa Barbara lectures
Written By: T. Givón

Is human language an evolutionary adaptation? Is linguistics a natural science? These questions have bedeviled philosophers, philologists and linguists from Plato through Chomsky. Prof. Givón suggests that the answers fall naturally within an integrated study of living organisms.
In this new work, Givón points out that language operates between aspects of both complex biological design and adaptive behavior. As in biology, the whole is an adaptive compromise to competing demands. Variation is the indispensable tool of learning, change and adaptation. The contrast between innateness and input-driven emergence is an interaction between genetically-coded and behaviorally-coded experience.
In enlarging the cross-disciplinary domain, the book examines the parallels between language evolution and language diachrony. Sociality, cooperation and communication are shown to be rooted in a common evolutionary source, the kin-based hunting-and-gathering society of intimates.
The book pays homage to the late Joseph Greenberg and his visionary integration of functional motivation, typological diversity and diachronic change.

Table of Contents

Preface xv•xviii
Language as a bio-adaptation 1•29
The bounds of generativity and the adaptive basis of variation 31•69
The demise of competence 71•122
Human language as an evolutionary product 123•162
An evolutionary account of language processing rates 163•184
The diachronic foundations of language universals 205•224
The neuro-cognitive interpretation of ‘context’ 225•261
The grammar of perspective in narrative fiction 263•301
The society of intimates 303•333
On the ontology of academic negativity 335•345
Epilogue: Joseph Greenberg as a theorist 347•355
Bibliography 357•377

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Anthropological Linguistics
Functional & Systemic Ling
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 158811225X
ISBN-13: 9781588112255
Pages: xviii, 383 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 176
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027225907
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xviii, 383 pp.
Prices: EUR 110.00
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1588112268
ISBN-13: 9781588112262
Pages: xviii, 383 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 59
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9027225915
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xviii, 383 pp.
Prices: EUR 44.00