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Language and Species

by Derek Bickerton

ISBN 0226046109 / 9780226046105 / 0-226-04610-9
Publisher University Of Chicago Press
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Language and Species presents the most detailed and well-documented scenario to date of the origins of language. Drawing on "living linguistic fossils" such as "ape talk," the "two-word" stage of small children, and pidgin languages, and on recent discoveries in paleoanthropology, Bickerton shows how a primitive "protolanguage" could have offered Homo erectus a novel ecological niche. He goes on to demonstrate how this protolanguage could have developed into the languages we speak today.

"You are drawn into [Bickerton's] appreciation of the dominant role language plays not only in what we say, but in what we think and, therefore, what we are."Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review

"The evolution of language is a fascinating topic, and Bickerton's Language and Species is the best introduction we have."John C. Marshall, Nature
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