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New from Oxford University Press!


Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

New from Cambridge University Press!


Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Book Information


Title: The Origins of Grammar
Subtitle: An Anthropological Perspective
Written By: MartinP.Edwardes

The book examines the origins of language and grammar and also looks at the
nature of being human. As a species, we have a long history of trying to
find aspects of ourselves that are exclusively human. Some of the features
of humanity thought to be solely the realm of the spiritual - for example
cognition and emotion - are increasingly being explained in terms of
physical effects. Exclusive physical functions are now questioned too -
bipedality, dexterity, socialisation, delayed gratification. Could the
differences between the human and animal kingdom be a matter of degrees
rather than absolutes? Language, and language grammar, is one territory
that might provide an answer.

Martin Edwardes builds a story examining the evolutionary sources of our
self-recognition, of human culture and social institutions and of the
cognitive forms that lie behind our linguistic grammatical forms. He covers
the current thinking in the field of language origins and goes on to
develop an essential new theory of the origins of grammar.

"Martin Edwardes has written a knowledgeable and thoughtful book on the
origins of grammar. I am happy to say that Edwardes' book complements my
own book of the same title, taking a similar view on central issues such as
the importance of meaning, of social interaction and a gradualist view of
evolution. Valuably, Edwardes approaches the topic from an anthropological
viewpoint, as his subtitle makes clear. Together, both books offer
innovative and thorough coverage of the field. "
James R. Hurford, Professor (Emeritus), University of Edinburgh, Scotland

"Martin Edwardes has written a wonderfully clear book that sets out the
central issues in linguistics that are pertinent to the evolution of
grammar and brings them into contact with psychological and anthropological
concerns. The style is accessible and will meet a broad audience but the
thesis will set academics thinking, arguing and reaching for their pens."
Tom Dickins, Reader in the School of Psychology, University of East London, UK

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (formerly The Continuum International Publishing Group)
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): Morphology
Anthropological Linguistics
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Format: Electronic
ISBN-13: 9781441159144
Pages: 192
Prices: U.K.£ 65.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9781441114389
Pages: 192
Prices: U.K.£ 65.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781441170989
Pages: 192
Prices: U.K.£ 19.99