By Christine Kenneally
A compelling examine the search for the origins of human language from an complete linguist Language is a especially human reward. despite the fact that, since it leaves no everlasting hint, its evolution has lengthy been a secret, and it is just within the final fifteen years that we've got began to appreciate how language got here into being. the 1st be aware is the compelling tale of the hunt for the origins of human language. The booklet follows intertwined narratives. the 1st is an account of ways language developed—how the random and layered strategies of evolution wound jointly to supply a speaking animal: us. the second one addresses why scientists are eventually in a position to discover the topic. For greater than 100 years, language evolution was once thought of a systematic taboo. Kenneally specializes in figures like Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker, in addition to cognitive scientists, biologists, geneticists, and animal researchers, for you to solution the elemental query: Is language a uniquely human phenomenon? the 1st be aware is the 1st booklet of its sort written for a normal viewers. guaranteed to entice fanatics of Steven Pinker’s The Language intuition and Jared Diamond’s weapons, Germs, and metal, Kenneally’s e-book is decided to affix them as a seminal account of human heritage.
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Extra resources for The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language
Noam Chomsky 2. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh 3. Steven Pinker and Paul Bloom 4. Philip Lieberman II. IF YOU HAVE HUMAN LANGUAGE… 5. You have something to talk about 6. You have speech 9. You have structure 10. You have a human brain 11. Your genes have human mutations III. WHAT EVOLVES? 12. Species evolve 13. Culture evolves 14. Why things evolve IV. WHERE NEXT? 15. The future of the debate 16. The future of language and evolution Epilogue: The babies of Galápagos Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index THE FIRST WORD Prelude Imagine all of your knowledge about language whirling above your head instead of inside it, each word a star.
This book focuses on the individuals that it does because they have made an idea their own in a striking and significant way. Perhaps, like Steven Pinker, they have combined a genius for cognitive science with a genius for timing. Or like Simon Kirby, they occupy a historically unique spot. Kirby, a young professor of language evolution at the University of Edinburgh, is not only spearheading research into the digital modeling of language; he was the first student to ever take an undergraduate and a graduate degree majoring in the evolution of language.
Once this is completed, they match one catalog to another—finding evidence of family relationships between languages. 2 In the early 1950s, Chomsky submitted a grammar of Hebrew for his master’s thesis at MIT. 3 Instead of describing an actual language, Chomsky discussed the different ways that a language can be described. D. ”5 With his next project Chomsky moved even further away from the concerns of his colleagues. 6 He carried on with his work, taught linguistics, and, in order to make enough money, also taught German, French, philosophy, and logic.