LINGUIST List 10.1223

Fri Aug 20 1999

Books: Language Evolution, Creoles

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>

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  • 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 Editors: 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 R. Hurford); PART I. GROUNDING LANGUAGE FUNCTION IN SOCIAL COGNITION: 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 Carstairs-McCarthy); PART III. THE EMERGENCE OF SYNTAX: 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.

    Contents: 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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