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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

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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BibTex: View BibTex record
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