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Why we talk: the evolutionary origins of language (series: studies in the evolution of language) The Evolutionary Origins of Language Studies in the Evolution of Language Series, Vol. 5

Langue : Anglais

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Couverture de l’ouvrage Why we talk: the evolutionary origins of language (series: studies in the evolution of language)
Jean-Louis Dessalles explores the co-evolutionary paths of biology, culture, and the great human edifice of language, linking the evolution of the language to the general evolutionary history of humankind. He provides searchingly original answers to such fundamental paradoxes as to whether we acquired our greatest gift in order to talk or so as to be able to think, and as to why human beings should, as experience constantly confirms, contribute information for the well-being of others at their own expense and for no apparent gain: which if this is one of language's main functions appears to make its possession, in Darwinian terms, a disadvantage. Dr Dessalles looks for solutions in the early history of human species and considers the degree to which language evolved as a means of choosing profitable coalition partners and maximizing individual success within a competitive social environment. The author opens with a discussion of the differences between animal and human communication and the biological foundations of language. He looks at the physiological preconditions for language evolution and the early evolution of meaning and communication. He then embarks on an important and original account of the natural history of conversation. Here he considers the roles of language in supporting social cohesion and information exchange. This challenging and original account will appeal to all those interested in the origins of language and the evolution of human behaviour.
Part I The Place of Language in Human Evolutionary History. 1. Animal and Human Communication. 2. Culture, Languages, and Language. 3. The Biological Roots of Language. 4. Misapprehensions about the Origins of Language. 5. Language as an Evolutionary Curiosity. 6. The Local Optimality of Language. Part II The Functional Anatomy of Speech. 7. Putting Sounds Together. 8. Protolanguage. 9. The Mechanics of Syntax. 10. Syntax and Meaning. 11. The Structure of Meanings. 12. The Emergence of Meaning. Part III The Ethology of Language. 13. Conversation Behaviour. 14. Language as Information. 15. The Birth of Argumentation. 16. Language as an Evolutionary Paradox. 17. The Political Origins of Language. 18. Epilogue. Reference. Index.
Jean-Louis Dessalles is Associate Professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications, Paris, where he organized the Third International Conference on the Evolution of Language in 2000. He is author of L'ordinateur génétiqu, and Aux Origines du langage, both were published by Hermès-Science. He has published numerous articles in English and French on cognitive science, computer-assisted learning, communication, and language evolution. ; James Grieve is an Emeritus Reader at The Australian National University, Canberra. He has translated works in language and linguistics, Lacour-Gayet's Histoire de l'Australie, and two parts of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu. He has published a Dictionary of Contemporary French Connectors and two novels for Young Adults

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