LINGUIST List 10.1223

Fri Aug 20 1999

Books: Language Evolution, Creoles

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  1. Susan Cronin, Language Evolution, Creolization

Message 1: Language Evolution, Creolization

Date: 18 Aug 99 12:11:01 -0700
From: Susan Cronin <>
Subject: Language Evolution, Creolization

Approaches to the Evolution of Language
Social and Cognitive Bases
James R. Hurford, University of Edinburgh
Michael Studdert-Kennedy, Haskins Laboratories, New Haven
Chris Knight, University of East London

This is one of the first systematic attempts to bring language within
the neo-Darwinian framework of modern evolutionary theory. 24
co-ordinated essays by linguists, phoneticians, anthropologists,
psychologists and cognitive scientists explore the origins of the
complex structure of human language, emphasizing its social (as
opposed to purely practical) bases, and showing the mechanisms by
which this structure emerges, is maintained, and develops.

Contents and Contributors:

Introduction (Michael Studdert-Kennedy, Chris Knight, and James
1. Introduction: Grounding language function in social cognition
(Chris Knight); 2. On discontinuing the continuity-discontinuity
debate (Jean Aitchison); 3. The origin of language and cognition (Ib
Ulbaek); 4. Mimesis and the executive suite: Missing links in language
evolution (Merlin Donald); 5. Ritual/speech co-evolution: A 'selfish
gene' solution to the problem of deception (Chris Knight); 6. Theory
of mind and the evolution of language (Robin Dunbar); 7. Old wives'
tales: The gossip hypothesis and the reliability of cheap signals
(Camilla Power); 8. Altruism, status, and the origin of relevance
(Jean-Louis Dessalles); 9. The evolution of language from social
intelligence (Robert Worden); PART II. THE EMERGENCE OF PHONOLOGY:
10. Introduction: The emergence of phonology (Michael
Studdert-Kennedy); 11. Long call structure in apes as a possible
precursor for language (Maria Ujhelyi); 12.Social sound-making as a
precursor to spoken language (John Locke); 13. Evolution of the
mechanisms of language output: Comparative neurobiology of vocal and
manual communication (Peter MacNeilage); 14. The particulate origins
of language generativity: From syllable to gesture (Michael
Studdert-Kennedy); 15. Systemic constraints and adaptive change in the
formation of sound structure (Bjorn Lindblom); 16. The development of
sound systems in human language (Klaus J. Kohler); 17. Synonymy
avoidance, phonology and the origin of syntax (Andrew
18. Introduction: The emergence of syntax (James R. Hurford); 19. On
the supposed "counterfunctionality" of universal grammar: Some
evolutionary considerations (Frederick J. Newmeyer); 20. Language
evolution and the minimalist program: The origins of syntax (Robert
C. Berwick); 21. Catastrophic evolution: The case for a single step
from protolanguage to full human language (Derek Bickerton); 22. F
selectiveadaptation of language (Simon Kirby); 23. Synthesizing the
origins of language and meaning using co-evolution, self-organization
and level formation (Luc Steels); 24. Computational simulations of the
emergence of grammar (John Batali).

1998/452 pp.
0-521-63049-5/Hb/List: $69.95 Disc.: $55.96
0-521-63964-6/Pb/List: $27.95 Disc.: $22.36


Creole Genesis and the Acquisition of Grammar
The Case for Haitian Creole
Claire Lefebvre, Universite du Quebec, Montreal

This study focuses on the cognitive processes involved in creole
genesis: relexification, reanalysis, and direct levelling. The role of
these processes is documented by a detailed comparison of Haitian
creole with its two major contributing languages, French and Fongbe,
to illustrate how mechanisms from source languages show themselves in
creole. The author examines the input of adult, as opposed to child,
speakers and resolves the problems in the three main approaches,
universalist, superstratist and substratist, which have been central
to the recent debate on creole development.

Preface; List of abbreviations; 1. The problem of creole genesis and
linguistic theory; 2. Cognitive processes involved in creole genesis;
3. The research methodology; 4. Functional category lexical entries
involved in nominal structure; 5. The preverbal markers encoding
relative tense, mood and aspect; 6. Pronouns; 7. Functional category
lexical entries involved in the structure of the clause; 8. The
determiner and the structure of the clause; 9. The syntactic
properties of verbs; 10. Are derivational affixes relexified? 11. The
concatenation of words in compounds; 12. Parameters; 13. Evaluation of
the hypothesis; 14: Theoretical consequences; References, Index.

Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 88
1999/480 pp.
0-521-59382-4/Hb/List: $74.95 Disc.: $59.96


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