The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Human Brain
Human language is one of the most distinctive behavioural adaptations on the planet. Languages evolved in only one species, in only one way, without precedent, and without parallel. Hundreds of millions of years of evolution have produced hundreds of thousands of species with brains, and tens of thousands with complex learning abilities. Only one of these has ever wondered about its place in the whole scheme, because only one - through its language - evolved with the ability to do so. This book aims to alter the understanding of what it means to be human: the universe isn't a soulless, blindly spinning clockwork, but instead nascent hear and mind.
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Review: The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the BrainUser Review - Philip Chaston - Goodreads
Good polemic on how humanity is unique: distinguishing language from communication; a common confusion with Dr Doolittle academics Read full review
Review: The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the BrainUser Review - Jonathan Tweet - Goodreads
Some really good bits about brain development, brain evolution in mammals and humans, language and symbol use among trained animals, and ritual as the incubator for speech. Unfortunately, it's hard ... Read full review