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Evolutionary Syntax

By Ljiljana Progovac

This book "outlines novel and testable hypotheses, contains extensive examples from many different languages" and is "presented in accessible language, with more technical discussion in footnotes."

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The Making of Vernacular Singapore English

By Zhiming Bao

This book "proposes a new theory of contact-induced grammatical restructuring" and "offers a new analytical approach to New English from a formal or structural perspective."

Book Information


Title: The Evolutionary Emergence of Language
Subtitle: Social Function and the Origins of Linguistic Form
Edited By: Christopher Knight
Michael Studdert-Kennedy
James R. Hurford

Language has no counterpart in the animal world. Unique to Homo sapiens, it
appears inseparable from human nature. But how, when and why did it emerge?
The contributors to this volume - linguists, anthropologists, cognitive
scientists, and others - adopt a modern Darwinian perspective which offers
a bold synthesis of the human and natural sciences. As a feature of human
social intelligence, language evolution is driven by biologically anomalous
levels of social cooperation. Phonetic competence correspondingly reflects
social pressures for vocal imitation, learning, and other forms of social
transmission. Distinctively human social and cultural strategies gave rise
to the complex syntactical structure of speech. This book, presenting
language as a remarkable social adaptation, testifies to the growing
influence of evolutionary thinking in contemporary linguistics. It will be
welcomed by all those interested in human evolution, evolutionary
psychology, linguistic anthropology, and general linguistics.

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0521781574
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 392
Prices: U.S. $ 80
U.K. £ 47.50

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0521786967
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 438
Prices: U.S. $ 29.00
U.K. £ 17.95