New Perspectives on the Origins of Language by Claire Lefebvre, Bernard Comrie, Henri Cohen PDF

By Claire Lefebvre, Bernard Comrie, Henri Cohen

ISBN-10: 9027206112

ISBN-13: 9789027206114

The query of ways language emerged is without doubt one of the so much interesting and tough difficulties in technological know-how. in recent times, a robust resurgence of curiosity within the emergence of language from an evolutionary standpoint has been helped through the convergence of ways, tools, and ideas from a number of disciplines. the choice of contributions during this quantity spotlight eventualities of language foundation and the necessities for a college of language in keeping with organic, historic, social, cultural, and paleontological forays into the stipulations that introduced forth and favorite language emergence, augmented through insights from sister disciplines. The chapters all mirror new hypothesis, discoveries and extra subtle study tools resulting in a extra targeted knowing of the diversity of percentages and the way we'd pick out between them. there's a lot that we don't but comprehend, however the outlines of the trail forward are ever clearer.

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Contrasting views on this question abound. g. Chomsky 2000), leads them to question how language could have arisen from Darwinian evolution. ). For others, the observation that primates apparently do not have complex language does not contradict its evolution. The implication is that complex language must have originated in our ancestral lines after the separation from chimpanzees, about seven million years ago, giving us a few hundred thousand generations to build our language instinct. Thus, we need not keep looking for homologues to language in other species to account for the existence of language in evolutionary terms.

Herder declares that it is this singularity in man that provides the clue to his special gift of language. The argument is not unscientific, but it is constrained by the comparative vagueness of the Wirkungskreis, the sphere of activity. Herder does not explain the difference in mechanism between an animal with highly precise and specialized behavior and a mammal with a much broader range of behavior. Herder no longer regarded language as an invention, since we cannot suppose “men should ever have had a good conception of the uses of language before any language existed” (Wells 1986, p.

The profusion of imagery and metaphors in old poetry was accounted for by the difficulty of expressing abstract ideas at that early stage in the history of oral language, when only concrete phenomena had been named. In this view, language originated only a few thousand years ago, almost synchronously with the advent of writing. In a preface to a German translation of Monboddo’s book, Herder (1784) held that the human race was not much older than its oldest historical records. It was also inconceivable that there had ever been a speechless people, since man’s capacities were not to be regarded as acquired but as given (Herder 1784/1888).

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New Perspectives on the Origins of Language by Claire Lefebvre, Bernard Comrie, Henri Cohen

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