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Название: The origins of language. Unraveling evolutionary forces
Автор: Masataka N. (ed.)
Debate on the origins of language has a long—and primarily speculative—history.
Perhaps its most signifi cant milestone occurred in 1866, when the Société de
Linguistique de Paris banned further papers on the subject, because fossil records
could provide no evidence concerning linguistic competence. This view has
persisted until recently, with investigators who deal with language empirically
remaining largely on the sidelines.
Contemporary developments in cognitive science, however, indicate that
human and nonhuman primates share a range of behavioral and physiological
characteristics (e.g., perceptual and computational) that speak to this issue of
language origins. Rather than indicating a discontinuity between humans and
other animals, studies concerning communicative, neurological, and social aspects
of language behavior suggest that the view of language as determined by biologically
innate abilities in conjunction with exposure to language in an environment
is amenable to both ontogenetic and phylogenetic levels of analysis. This crossdisciplinary
book has been edited to review and integrate the latest research in
this area. Various chapters examine which aspects of language (and its foundations)
were directly inherited from the common ancestor of humans and nonhuman
primates, which aspects have undergone minor change, and which are
qualitatively new in Homo sapiens sapiens.