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Fitch W.T. The evolution of language
Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (May 17, 2010); ISBN-10: 052167736X; ISBN-13: 978-0521677363; Length: 622 pages.
Any normal human child will lea 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. Tecumseh Fitch cuts through this vast literature, bringing together its most important insights to explore one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of human history.
Introduction; Part I. The Lay of the Land:
1. Language from a biological perspective;
2. Evolution;
3. Language;
4. Animal cognition and communication; Part II. Meet the Ancestors:
5. Meet the ancestors;
6. The last common ancestor;
7. The hominid fossil record; Part III. The Evolution of Speech:
8. The evolution of the human vocal tract;
9. The evolution of vocal control;
10. Modelling the evolution of speech; Part IV. Phylogenetic Models of Language Evolution:
11. Language evolution before Darwin;
12. Lexical protolanguage;
13. Gestural protolanguage;
14. Musical protolanguage;
15. Conclusions & prospects.
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