Language Evolution: The Hardest Problem in Science?

Morten H. Christiansen and Simon Kirby

in Language Evolution

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780199244843
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191715167 | DOI:

Series: Studies in the Evolution of Language

 Language Evolution: The Hardest Problem in Science?

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  • Historical and Diachronic Linguistics


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This book brings together, for the first time, all the major perspectives on language evolution, as represented by the various fields that have a stake in language evolution research: psycholinguistics, linguistics, psychology, primatology, philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, biology, neuroscience, neuropsychology, neurophysiology, cognitive science, and computational linguistics. The chapters are written by the key authorities in each area, and together they cast the brightest light yet on questions surrounding the origin and evolution of language. Topics range from the possible genetic bases of language and the application of mathematical game theory to language evolution, to grammatical assimilation from the viewpoint of computational linguistics, the role of cultural transmission (learning) in explaining language evolution, the different origins of symbols and grammar, and the gestural origins of language.

Keywords: language; language evolution; archaeology; biology; neuroscience; game theory; computational linguistics; symbols; grammar; grammatical assimilation

Chapter.  6181 words. 

Subjects: Historical and Diachronic Linguistics

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