The Evolution of Language

625 Pages · 2010 · 4.11 MB · English

  • The Evolution of Language

    This page intentionally left blank TheEvolutionofLanguage





    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











    in animals and man, focusing on the evolution of speech, music,


    in terrestrial vertebrates, particularly vertebrate vocal production in

    relationtotheevolutionofspeechandmusicinourownspecies. The Evolution of Language

    w. tecumseh fitch CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS

    Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore,

    São Paulo, Delhi, Dubai, Tokyo

    Cambridge University Press

    The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

    Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York


    Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521859936

    © W. Tecumseh Fitch 2010

    This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the

    provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part

    may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

    First published in print format 2010

    ISBN-13 978-0-511-67747-2 eBook (NetLibrary)

    ISBN-13 978-0-521-85993-6 Hardback

    ISBN-13 978-0-521-67736-3 Paperback

    Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy

    of urls for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication,

    and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain,

    accurate or appropriate. Dedicatedtomyfather Contents

    Listoffigures [pageix]

    Acknowledgments [xi]

    Introduction [1]

    section 1 the lay of the land

    1 Languagefromabiologicalperspective [13]

    2 Evolution:consensusandcontroversy [35]

    3 Language [73]

    4 Animalcognitionandcommunication [143]

    section 2 meet the ancestors

    5 Meettheancestors [205]

    6 TheLCA:ourlastcommonancestorwith

    chimpanzees [234]

    7 Hominidpaleontologyandarchaeology [250]

    section 3 the evolution of speech

    8 Theevolutionofthehumanvocaltract [297]

    9 Theevolutionofvocalcontrol:theneuralbasisforspoken

    language [338]

    10 Modelsoftheevolutionofspeechandphonology [364]

    section 4 evaluating phylogenetic models of

    language evolution

    11 Historicaloverview:Westerntheoriesoflanguageorigin

    beforeDarwin [389] viii Contents

    12 Lexicalprotolanguage [401]

    13 Signsbeforespeech:gesturalprotolanguage

    theories [433]

    14 Musicalprotolanguage [466]

    15 Conclusionsandprospects [508]

    Glossary [513]

    Appendix:speciesnames [519]

    References [521]

    Authorindex [605]

    Subjectindex [607]

    Speciesindex [611]

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