The Evolution of Human Language: Scenarios, Principles, and Cultural Dynamics
Wolfgang Wildgen presents three perspectives on the evolution of language as a key element in the evolution of mankind in terms of the development of human symbol use. (1) He approaches this question by constructing possible scenarios in which mechanisms necessary for symbolic behavior could have developed, on the basis of the state of the art in evolutionary anthropology and genetics. (2) Non-linguistic symbolic behavior such as cave art is investigated as an important clue to the developmental background to the origin of language. Creativity and innovation and a population's ability to integrate individual experiments are considered with regard to historical examples of symbolic creativity in the visual arts and natural sciences. (3) Probable linguistic 'fossils' of such linguistic innovations are examined. The results of this study allow for new proposals for a 'protolanguage' and for a theory of language within a broader philosophical and semiotic framework, and raises interesting questions as to human consciousness, universal grammar, and linguistic methodology. (Series B)
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abstract action adapted animals basic behavior Bickerton biological body brain Cassirer causal cave Chapter chimpanzees cognitive comical communication complex consciousness constituents context creativity Cro-Magnon cultural Darwinian dynamics ecology elaborated entities evolution of language evolutionary evolved expression Figure functions further genetic genres German gestures grammar hand hominids Homo erectus Homo ergaster Homo habilis Homo neanderthalensis Homo sapiens human evolution human language ibidem imagistic individual innovation interaction ky BP language capacity language evolution laughter lexical lexicon linguistic linked means Mesolithic modern myth Neanderthals neo-cortex nominal compounds objects oeil organization painting Paleolithic Paleolithic art patterns perception period populations preadaptation presupposes primates principles protolanguage relation relevant Rene Thom representation rituals scenario schema semantics semiotic sexual selection shape signs social societies space specific stable stage structures symbolic forms syntactic syntax theory tion tool transition vocal Wildgen