LINGUIST List 23.5345

Wed Dec 19 2012

Books: Computational Phenotypes: Balari Ravera, Lorenzo

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <>

Date: 17-Dec-2012
From: Helen Boyd <>
Subject: Computational Phenotypes: Balari Ravera, Lorenzo
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Title: Computational PhenotypesSubtitle: Towards an Evolutionary Developmental BiolinguisticsPublication Year: 2012Publisher: Oxford University Press

Book URL:

Author: Sergio Balari RaveraAuthor: Guillermo Lorenzo

Hardback: ISBN: 9780199665464 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 65.00Paperback: ISBN: 9780199665471 Pages: 256 Price: U.K. £ 29.99


This book confronts the hotly debated claim that language is a speciesspecific trait of humans. It also considers the notion that disentangling theevolutionary history of language is one of science's hardest problems.Building on the recent conceptual breakthroughs of the EvoDevo paradigm,Balari and Lorenzo argue that language is not so exceptional after all. It is,rather, just the human version of a fairly common and conservative organicsystem which they call the Central Computational Complex. The authors alsopropose that interspecies variation of this organ is restricted to (i)accessible memory resources, and (ii) patterns of external connectivity, bothbeing the result of perturbations on the system underlying its development.The book, written accessibly for both biologists and linguists, offers a freshperspective on language as a naturally evolved phenomenon.

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science Historical Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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