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Author Fitch, W. Tecumseh

Title The evolution of language / W. Tecumseh Fitch

Publ Info Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2010]
 PC  P116 .F58 2010    AVAILABLE
 RWU Main Library  P116 .F58 2010    AVAILABLE
Descript xii, 610 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. [521]-604) and index
Contents The lay of the land. Language from a biological perspective ; Evolution : consensus and controversy ; Language ; Animal cognition and communication -- Meet the ancestors. Meet the ancestors ; The LCA : our last common ancestor with chimpanzees ; Hominid paleontology and archaeology -- The evolution of speech. The evolution of the human vocal tract ; The evolution of vocal control : the neural basis for spoken language ; Models of the evolution of speech and phonology -- Evaluating phylogenetic models of language evolution. Historical overview : Western theories of language origin before Darwin ; Lexical protolanguage ; Signs before speech : gestural protolanguage theories ; Musical protolanguage
Note "Language, more than anything else, is what makes us human. It appears that no communication system of equivalent power exists elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Any normal human child will learn a language based on rather sparse data in the surrounding world, while even the brightest chimpanzee, exposed to the same environment, will not. Why not? How, and why, did language evolve in our species and not in others?" "Since Darwin's theory of evolution, questions about the origin of language have generated a rapidly growing scientific literature, stretched across a number of disciplines, much of it directed at specialist audiences. The diversity of perspectives - from linguistics, anthropology, speech science, genetics, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology - can be bewildering. Covering diverse and fascinating topics, from Kaspar Hauser to Clever Hans, Tecumseh Fitch provides a clear and comprehensible guide to this vast literature, bringing together its most important insights to explore one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of human history."--BOOK JACKET
LC subject Language and languages -- Origin
Historical linguistics
ISBN 9780521859936
9780521677363 (pbk.)
052167736X (pbk.)