Language Evolution

1st Edition

W. Tecumseh Fitch, Gesche Westphal Fitch

Published February 14, 2012
Reference - 1704 Pages
ISBN 9780415679152 - CAT# Y120263
Series: Critical Concepts in Linguistics

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This new four-volume collection, part of Routledge’s Critical Concepts in Linguistics series, assembles the most important scholarly writings concerning the biological evolution of language, particularly those incorporating a Darwinian view of evolution. Including excerpts from ancient sources such as the Bible, Plato, and Aristotle, along with classical sources like Condillac, Rousseau, and Herder, Language Evolution provides an overview of the intensive debate on language evolution following the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species.

It also outlines each of the major conceptions of protolanguage and examines the evolution of our human capacity for speech, as well as focusing on the modern (mostly post-1990) literature attempting to reconcile the Chomskyean approach to linguistics with a Darwinian evolutionary viewpoint. In addition, it incorporates the new insights and approaches based on computer modelling, which have played a growing role in the recent literature.

This is an important resource for those scholars interested in possessing a deeper, historically informed overview of the immense literature on this topic. The collection will also, of course, provide unified and ready access to a selection of the most important papers from the 1990s onward. It is supplemented with a full index, and includes an introduction to each volume, newly written by the editors, which places the assembled materials in their historical and intellectual context.

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