New Perspectives on the Origins of Language.

By: Lefebvre, ClaireContributor(s): Comrie, Bernard | Cohen, HenriSeries: Studies in Language Companion SeriesPublisher: Amsterdam : John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2013Copyright date: ©2013Description: 1 online resource (598 pages)Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9789027271136Subject(s): Egypt -- Economic conditions.;EgyptGenre/Form: Electronic books. Additional physical formats: Print version:: New Perspectives on the Origins of LanguageDDC classification: 401 LOC classification: P116 -- .N49 2013ebOnline resources: Click to View
Contents:
New Perspectives on the Origins of Language -- Editorial page -- Title page -- LCC data -- Table of contents -- Preface -- Introduction -- Historical, Darwinian, and current perspectives on the origin(s) of language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. First reflections on language origins -- 3. Early language deprivation experiments -- 4. Christian era reflections on language origins -- 5. Pre-Darwinian theories of language origins -- 6. The SLP ban (1866) -- 7. Darwin's views on language origins -- 8. Current perspectives -- References -- The origin of language as seen by eighteenth-century philosophy -- 1. The "turning point" -- 2. What is meant by the "origin" of languages? -- 3. The speculative model -- 4. The historical model -- References -- Cognitive and social aspects of language origins -- 1. The problem -- 1.1 My "first" theory of language (in the broadest sense) -- 1.2 A "second" theory of the origin of language -- 2. The sentence in context -- 3. The myth in its context -- 3.1 The narrative revolution: Myth in social context -- 3.2 Myth in cross-cultural contexts -- 4. Conclusion -- References -- Reconstructed fossil vocal tracts and the production of speech -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Issues and risks of an expanding multidisciplinary dialogue: The contagion of scientific ideas -- 2.1 The contagion of scientific ideas -- 2.2 Circular reasoning -- 2.3 Ascientific presuppositions -- 3. Structuring epistemology: The push-pull framework -- 3.1 Pull and push approaches -- 3.2 Motivations and pull hypotheses -- 3.3 Push theories: Substance and function -- 3.4 Push hardware: The FOXP2 gene -- 3.5 Push software: Prerequisites for cognitive functions -- 4. Genetic hardware: HOX genes -- 5. Anatomical hardware -- 5.1 The vocal tract -- 5.2 The hyoid bone -- 5.3 The hyoid bone and the lowering of the mandible -- 5.4 The hyoid bone and the tongue.
5.5 The hyoid bone and the larynx -- 5.6 The hyoido-laryngeal space -- 5.7 The cervical spine -- 6. Positioning and reconstruction of the vocal tract -- 6.1 Ontogeny: The true descent of the larynx -- 6.2 Phylogeny: No larynx descent -- 6.2.1 A choice of fossils -- 6.2.2 Vocal tract reconstruction: Methodology -- 7. Acoustic potential of the vocal tract: The vowel space -- 8. Control of the vocal tract articulators -- 8.1 Speech production and suction-mastication-deglutition -- 8.2 Babbling and cyclicity -- 9. From phylogeny to ontogeny: The "right shapes" of the sound systems of the languages of the world -- 10. Conclusion -- Annex -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Paleoanthropology and language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Human evolution -- 3. Emergence of the modern sensibility -- 4. A role for language -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Material culture and language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Symbols -- 2.1 GOFAI and symbolism -- 2.2 Terrence Deacon on symbols -- 2.3 Meaning and causality -- 2.4 Symbolic reference and social cognition -- 3. Symbols in archeology -- 3.1 Reading symbolism in early Homo sapiens -- 3.2 Is it symbolism? -- 3.3 Symbol or index? -- 4. From shared meaning to language -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Gestural theory of the origins of language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Why language evolved from manual gestures -- 2.1 Gesture as a natural communication medium -- 2.2 Manual gestures in primates are intentional, whereas vocalizations are not -- 2.3 The mirror system -- 2.4 Teaching language to apes -- 2.5 Signed languages -- 2.6 The development of language -- 2.7 Handedness and cerebral asymmetry for language -- 2.8 Summary -- References -- Primate communication -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Mental concepts -- 2.1 The primacy of thought -- 2.2 Chimpanzee minds -- 2.3 Cultural override -- 2.4 Acquisition of meaning.
3. Roads to infinity -- 3.1 The Holy Grail -- 3.2 Combinatorial animal signals -- 3.3 Semantic composition versus idioms -- 3.4 Evolution of syntax -- 4. Pragmatics and comprehension -- 4.1 Causal reasoning or learned associations? -- 4.2 Exploring inference -- 4.3 The origins of pragmatics -- 5. Conclusions -- Acknowledgments -- References -- FoxP2 and vocalization -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Vocal production learning: What is it, who does it, and how do you know? -- 2.1 Parallel vocal developmental programs -- 2.2 Anatomical parallels -- 2.3 The KE family: A case study in disrupted vocal production learning -- 3. From gene to phenotype: How to connect them? -- 3.1 Beyond brain structure: FoxP2 as a plasticity gate -- 3.2 Other genes: FoxP family members -- 3.3 Genes downstream of FOXP2 -- 3.4 Key detour? A FOXP2 target is linked to specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorder -- 3.5 Looking into the dark matter -- 3.6 Follow-through: Prioritizing genes -- 4. Summary -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Brain lateralization and the emergence of language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Hemispheric dominance for language -- 2.1 Language organization in healthy right-handers -- 2.2 A close link between left-hemisphere dominance for language and right-handedness -- 2.3 Handedness, language, and the motor origin of language: Functional imaging of tool making and sign language -- 2.4 Handedness alone does not explain the variability of hemispheric specialization for language -- 3. Perceptual theory of the origin of hemispheric specialization -- 4. Conclusion -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Sensorimotor constraints and the organization of sound patterns -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Preliminary considerations on speech production -- 3. The case of vowel systems -- 3.1 General trends -- 3.2 Sensorimotor constraints -- 4. The case of consonant systems.
4.1 General trends -- 4.2 Sensorimotor constraints -- 5. Syllabic forms -- 5.1 Universal trends in syllabic inventories -- 5.2 Sensorimotor constraints -- 6. Conclusion -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Symbol grounding and the origin of language -- 1. Show vs. tell -- 2. Before orality -- 3. What is language? -- 3.1 The power to say anything that can be said -- 3.2 What would "protolanguage" be? -- 3.3 What is a symbol system? -- 3.4 Arbitrariness of shape, autonomy of syntax, and meaning -- 4. Categorization -- 4.1 The symbol grounding problem -- 4.2 Simulating the origin of language -- 4.2.1 Pantomime to proposition: The transition from show to tell -- 5. Combining and communicating categories -- 5.1 The disposition to propose: Intelligence or motivation? -- 5.2 From hand to mouth -- 5.2.1 Symbol grounding -- 6. Keeping our feet on the ground -- References -- Part 4. Linguistic views on language origins -- Sound patterns and conceptual content of the first words -- 1. Sound patterns of the first words -- 1.1 The neglect of infant babbling -- 1.2 The relation between ontogeny and phylogeny -- 1.3 Babbling and the problem of serial order -- 2. The Nature of Babbling -- 2.1 From babbling to speaking a language -- 2.2 Vocal babbling and sign babbling -- 2.3 The ethology of vocal babbling -- 2.4 The phylogeny of babbling -- 3. Comparative neurobiology of the Frame/Content theory -- 4. The Evo-Devo perspective and babbling -- 5. How sound patterns became linked with concepts -- 5.1 Baby talk -- 5.2 Baby talk and parental terms -- 5.3 The first words -- 6. Coda -- References -- Brave new words -- 1. The Proto-Sapiens kinship terms papa, mama and kaka -- 1.1 Historical background -- 1.2 Trask and the historical emergence of papa/mama words -- 1.2.1 Inherited papa/mama words in Indo-European languages.
1.2.2 Inherited papa/mama words in Dravidian and Turkic languages -- 1.2.3 Inherited papa/mama words in Chinese languages -- 1.3 Summary -- 2. Chance resemblances? -- 2.1 Inaccurate calculations -- 2.2 Inaccurate comparative linguistics -- 2.2.1 Inaccuracy with regard to linguistic taxonomy -- 2.2.2 Inaccuracy with regard to phonetic correspondences -- 2.2.3 Inaccuracy with regard to semantic correspondences -- 2.2.4 Summary -- 3. Why kinship appellatives do not change: Children babbling, parents choosing -- 4. Back to Proto-Human: The Frame, then Content hypothesis -- 5. By way of conclusion: The early steps towards articulate language -- 5.1 How else may Proto-Sapiens aid the study of language origins? -- References -- Appendices: Comparative data -- Appendix A. The Proto-Indo-European root *ma- ~ *mama- 'mother' [or, rather, 'mother, mom'] -- Appendix B. The Proto-Indo-European root *pa ~ *papa 'father, dad' -- Appendix C. The Proto-Indo-European root *tat- ~ *tet- 'father' [or, rather, *tata 'dad, father'] -- Appendix D. The Proto-Dravidian root *appa 'dad, father' -- Appendix E. The Proto-Turkic roots *ata 'dad, father', *apa 'dad, father', and *ana 'mom, mother' -- Appendix F. The origin of words for 'dad', 'father', 'mom', and 'mother' in the Chinese family. -- Appendix G. The descent of Proto-Indo-European *deik'e- 'to show, to point' and *dekm̥- 'ten'. -- On the origin of Grammar -- 1. Introduction -- 2. On grammaticalization and the rise of complexity -- 2.1 Grammaticalization theory -- 2.2 On complexity -- 3. On linguistic fossils -- 3.1 Two fossil hypotheses -- 3.2 Thetical Grammar -- 3.3 Possible neurological correlates -- 4. Conclusions -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Arbitrary signs and the emergence of language -- 1. Basic questions -- 2. Language as a neurological side effect -- 3. How offline brain systems emerged.
4. A sign is born.
Summary: We first address diverse criteria on what a theory of language evolution should explain, focusing on six divides: evolution did/did not yield a Universal Grammar; brain evolution is/is not important; language is to be viewed as speech or multimodal communication; language evolution is/is not best understood solely with reference to tools for communication; we do/do not need a notion of protolanguage as a precursor to language; and protolanguage was/was not in great part holophrastic. We argue against a role for an innate Universal Grammar in language acquisition and language change, and then present a brief case study of the emergence of Nicaraguan Sign Language in a few decades. Finally, we present the mirror system hypothesis on the evolution of the language-ready brain locating it within the 6 divides and charting a path for biological evolution supporting mechanisms for simple and complex imitation, pantomime, protosign and protospeech in turn, claiming that this provided an adequate base for true languages to emerge through cultural evolution.
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New Perspectives on the Origins of Language -- Editorial page -- Title page -- LCC data -- Table of contents -- Preface -- Introduction -- Historical, Darwinian, and current perspectives on the origin(s) of language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. First reflections on language origins -- 3. Early language deprivation experiments -- 4. Christian era reflections on language origins -- 5. Pre-Darwinian theories of language origins -- 6. The SLP ban (1866) -- 7. Darwin's views on language origins -- 8. Current perspectives -- References -- The origin of language as seen by eighteenth-century philosophy -- 1. The "turning point" -- 2. What is meant by the "origin" of languages? -- 3. The speculative model -- 4. The historical model -- References -- Cognitive and social aspects of language origins -- 1. The problem -- 1.1 My "first" theory of language (in the broadest sense) -- 1.2 A "second" theory of the origin of language -- 2. The sentence in context -- 3. The myth in its context -- 3.1 The narrative revolution: Myth in social context -- 3.2 Myth in cross-cultural contexts -- 4. Conclusion -- References -- Reconstructed fossil vocal tracts and the production of speech -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Issues and risks of an expanding multidisciplinary dialogue: The contagion of scientific ideas -- 2.1 The contagion of scientific ideas -- 2.2 Circular reasoning -- 2.3 Ascientific presuppositions -- 3. Structuring epistemology: The push-pull framework -- 3.1 Pull and push approaches -- 3.2 Motivations and pull hypotheses -- 3.3 Push theories: Substance and function -- 3.4 Push hardware: The FOXP2 gene -- 3.5 Push software: Prerequisites for cognitive functions -- 4. Genetic hardware: HOX genes -- 5. Anatomical hardware -- 5.1 The vocal tract -- 5.2 The hyoid bone -- 5.3 The hyoid bone and the lowering of the mandible -- 5.4 The hyoid bone and the tongue.

5.5 The hyoid bone and the larynx -- 5.6 The hyoido-laryngeal space -- 5.7 The cervical spine -- 6. Positioning and reconstruction of the vocal tract -- 6.1 Ontogeny: The true descent of the larynx -- 6.2 Phylogeny: No larynx descent -- 6.2.1 A choice of fossils -- 6.2.2 Vocal tract reconstruction: Methodology -- 7. Acoustic potential of the vocal tract: The vowel space -- 8. Control of the vocal tract articulators -- 8.1 Speech production and suction-mastication-deglutition -- 8.2 Babbling and cyclicity -- 9. From phylogeny to ontogeny: The "right shapes" of the sound systems of the languages of the world -- 10. Conclusion -- Annex -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Paleoanthropology and language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Human evolution -- 3. Emergence of the modern sensibility -- 4. A role for language -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Material culture and language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Symbols -- 2.1 GOFAI and symbolism -- 2.2 Terrence Deacon on symbols -- 2.3 Meaning and causality -- 2.4 Symbolic reference and social cognition -- 3. Symbols in archeology -- 3.1 Reading symbolism in early Homo sapiens -- 3.2 Is it symbolism? -- 3.3 Symbol or index? -- 4. From shared meaning to language -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Gestural theory of the origins of language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Why language evolved from manual gestures -- 2.1 Gesture as a natural communication medium -- 2.2 Manual gestures in primates are intentional, whereas vocalizations are not -- 2.3 The mirror system -- 2.4 Teaching language to apes -- 2.5 Signed languages -- 2.6 The development of language -- 2.7 Handedness and cerebral asymmetry for language -- 2.8 Summary -- References -- Primate communication -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Mental concepts -- 2.1 The primacy of thought -- 2.2 Chimpanzee minds -- 2.3 Cultural override -- 2.4 Acquisition of meaning.

3. Roads to infinity -- 3.1 The Holy Grail -- 3.2 Combinatorial animal signals -- 3.3 Semantic composition versus idioms -- 3.4 Evolution of syntax -- 4. Pragmatics and comprehension -- 4.1 Causal reasoning or learned associations? -- 4.2 Exploring inference -- 4.3 The origins of pragmatics -- 5. Conclusions -- Acknowledgments -- References -- FoxP2 and vocalization -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Vocal production learning: What is it, who does it, and how do you know? -- 2.1 Parallel vocal developmental programs -- 2.2 Anatomical parallels -- 2.3 The KE family: A case study in disrupted vocal production learning -- 3. From gene to phenotype: How to connect them? -- 3.1 Beyond brain structure: FoxP2 as a plasticity gate -- 3.2 Other genes: FoxP family members -- 3.3 Genes downstream of FOXP2 -- 3.4 Key detour? A FOXP2 target is linked to specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorder -- 3.5 Looking into the dark matter -- 3.6 Follow-through: Prioritizing genes -- 4. Summary -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Brain lateralization and the emergence of language -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Hemispheric dominance for language -- 2.1 Language organization in healthy right-handers -- 2.2 A close link between left-hemisphere dominance for language and right-handedness -- 2.3 Handedness, language, and the motor origin of language: Functional imaging of tool making and sign language -- 2.4 Handedness alone does not explain the variability of hemispheric specialization for language -- 3. Perceptual theory of the origin of hemispheric specialization -- 4. Conclusion -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Sensorimotor constraints and the organization of sound patterns -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Preliminary considerations on speech production -- 3. The case of vowel systems -- 3.1 General trends -- 3.2 Sensorimotor constraints -- 4. The case of consonant systems.

4.1 General trends -- 4.2 Sensorimotor constraints -- 5. Syllabic forms -- 5.1 Universal trends in syllabic inventories -- 5.2 Sensorimotor constraints -- 6. Conclusion -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Symbol grounding and the origin of language -- 1. Show vs. tell -- 2. Before orality -- 3. What is language? -- 3.1 The power to say anything that can be said -- 3.2 What would "protolanguage" be? -- 3.3 What is a symbol system? -- 3.4 Arbitrariness of shape, autonomy of syntax, and meaning -- 4. Categorization -- 4.1 The symbol grounding problem -- 4.2 Simulating the origin of language -- 4.2.1 Pantomime to proposition: The transition from show to tell -- 5. Combining and communicating categories -- 5.1 The disposition to propose: Intelligence or motivation? -- 5.2 From hand to mouth -- 5.2.1 Symbol grounding -- 6. Keeping our feet on the ground -- References -- Part 4. Linguistic views on language origins -- Sound patterns and conceptual content of the first words -- 1. Sound patterns of the first words -- 1.1 The neglect of infant babbling -- 1.2 The relation between ontogeny and phylogeny -- 1.3 Babbling and the problem of serial order -- 2. The Nature of Babbling -- 2.1 From babbling to speaking a language -- 2.2 Vocal babbling and sign babbling -- 2.3 The ethology of vocal babbling -- 2.4 The phylogeny of babbling -- 3. Comparative neurobiology of the Frame/Content theory -- 4. The Evo-Devo perspective and babbling -- 5. How sound patterns became linked with concepts -- 5.1 Baby talk -- 5.2 Baby talk and parental terms -- 5.3 The first words -- 6. Coda -- References -- Brave new words -- 1. The Proto-Sapiens kinship terms papa, mama and kaka -- 1.1 Historical background -- 1.2 Trask and the historical emergence of papa/mama words -- 1.2.1 Inherited papa/mama words in Indo-European languages.

1.2.2 Inherited papa/mama words in Dravidian and Turkic languages -- 1.2.3 Inherited papa/mama words in Chinese languages -- 1.3 Summary -- 2. Chance resemblances? -- 2.1 Inaccurate calculations -- 2.2 Inaccurate comparative linguistics -- 2.2.1 Inaccuracy with regard to linguistic taxonomy -- 2.2.2 Inaccuracy with regard to phonetic correspondences -- 2.2.3 Inaccuracy with regard to semantic correspondences -- 2.2.4 Summary -- 3. Why kinship appellatives do not change: Children babbling, parents choosing -- 4. Back to Proto-Human: The Frame, then Content hypothesis -- 5. By way of conclusion: The early steps towards articulate language -- 5.1 How else may Proto-Sapiens aid the study of language origins? -- References -- Appendices: Comparative data -- Appendix A. The Proto-Indo-European root *ma- ~ *mama- 'mother' [or, rather, 'mother, mom'] -- Appendix B. The Proto-Indo-European root *pa ~ *papa 'father, dad' -- Appendix C. The Proto-Indo-European root *tat- ~ *tet- 'father' [or, rather, *tata 'dad, father'] -- Appendix D. The Proto-Dravidian root *appa 'dad, father' -- Appendix E. The Proto-Turkic roots *ata 'dad, father', *apa 'dad, father', and *ana 'mom, mother' -- Appendix F. The origin of words for 'dad', 'father', 'mom', and 'mother' in the Chinese family. -- Appendix G. The descent of Proto-Indo-European *deik'e- 'to show, to point' and *dekm̥- 'ten'. -- On the origin of Grammar -- 1. Introduction -- 2. On grammaticalization and the rise of complexity -- 2.1 Grammaticalization theory -- 2.2 On complexity -- 3. On linguistic fossils -- 3.1 Two fossil hypotheses -- 3.2 Thetical Grammar -- 3.3 Possible neurological correlates -- 4. Conclusions -- Acknowledgments -- References -- Arbitrary signs and the emergence of language -- 1. Basic questions -- 2. Language as a neurological side effect -- 3. How offline brain systems emerged.

4. A sign is born.

We first address diverse criteria on what a theory of language evolution should explain, focusing on six divides: evolution did/did not yield a Universal Grammar; brain evolution is/is not important; language is to be viewed as speech or multimodal communication; language evolution is/is not best understood solely with reference to tools for communication; we do/do not need a notion of protolanguage as a precursor to language; and protolanguage was/was not in great part holophrastic. We argue against a role for an innate Universal Grammar in language acquisition and language change, and then present a brief case study of the emergence of Nicaraguan Sign Language in a few decades. Finally, we present the mirror system hypothesis on the evolution of the language-ready brain locating it within the 6 divides and charting a path for biological evolution supporting mechanisms for simple and complex imitation, pantomime, protosign and protospeech in turn, claiming that this provided an adequate base for true languages to emerge through cultural evolution.

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