This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."
Please Note: This is a new version of a previously announced text.
A classic in its field for almost forty years, "The Articulate Mammal" is a brilliant introduction to psycholinguistics. In lucid prose Jean Aitchison introduces and demystifies a complex and controversial subject: What is language and is it restricted to humans? How do children acquire language so quickly? Is language innate or learned? She explains the pioneering work of Noam Chomsky; how children become acclimatized to speech rhythms before birth; the acquisition of verbs; construction and cognitive grammar; and aphasia and dementia. She also considers new topics such as language and evolution and the possibility of a "language gene", bringing the field right up to date.