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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


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Book Information

   
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Title: Biological Foundations and Origin of Syntax
Edited By: Derek Bickerton
Eörs Szathmáry
URL: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262013567
Series Title: Strüngmann Forum Reports
Description:

Syntax is arguably the most human-specific aspect of language. Despite the
proto-linguistic capacities of some animals, syntax appears to be the last
major evolutionary transition in humans that has some genetic basis. Yet
what are the elements to a scenario that can explain such a transition? In this
book, experts from linguistics, neurology and neurobiology, cognitive
psychology, ecology and evolutionary biology, and computer modeling
address this question.

Unlike most previous work on the evolution of language, "Biological
Foundations and Origin of Syntax" follows through on a growing consensus
among researchers that language can be profitably separated into a number
of related and interacting but largely autonomous functions, each of which
may have a distinguishable evolutionary history and neurological base. The
contributors argue that syntax is such a function.

The book describes the current state of research on syntax in different fields,
with special emphasis on areas in which the findings of particular disciplines
might shed light on problems faced by other disciplines. It defines areas
where consensus has been established with regard to the nature,
infrastructure, and evolution of the syntax of natural languages; summarizes
and evaluates contrasting approaches in areas that remain controversial; and
suggests lines for future research to resolve at least some of these disputed
issues.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: MIT 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): Syntax
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: 0262013568
ISBN-13: 9780262013567
Pages: 430
Prices: U.S. $ 45