Evolution and Language (2): An Old Subject’s Great Escape from Recent Disciplinary Boundaries
Alan Barnard’s Language in prehistory attempts to find an accommodation between linguistic and evolutionary theory and apply insights from archeology and anthropology to the origins and purposes of language. Rudolph Botha’s Language evolution: The windows approach is a critique of employing evidence from other fields. Botha also critiques conclusions drawn from pidgins and creoles, homesign, motherese, grammaticalization, language acquisition, protolanguage, and comparative animal behaviour. This review attempts in turn to bring into question the appropriateness of applying the framework of generative linguistics, and its style of argumentation, to prehistory.
Keywords: Generative Linguistics, Recursion, UG (Universal Grammar), LAD (Language Acquisition Device), grammaticalization, language evolution, language in prehistory
Books under Review
Barnard, Alan. 2016. Language in prehistory. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. xii, 184 pages. Paperback $24.99.
Rudolph Botha. 2016. Language evolution:The windows approach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 318 pages. Paperback $39.99.
Barnard, Alan. 2011. Social Anthropology and Human Origins. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
———. 2012. Genesis of Symbolic Thought. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Bickerton, Derek. 2010. Adam’s Tongue. How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans. New York: Hill & Wang.
———. 2014. More Than Nature Needs: Language, Mind, and Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bruner, Jerome, with the assistance of Rita Watson. 1983. Child’s Talk: Learning to Use Language. New York: Norton.
Chomsky, Noam, and Morris Halle. 1968. The Sound Pattern of English. New York: Harper and Row.
Heine, Bernd, and Tania Kuteva. 2007. The Genesis of Grammar. A Reconstruction. New york: Oxford University Press.
———. 2012 “Grammaticalization Theory as a Tool for Constructing Language Evolution.” In The Oxford handbook of language evolution, edited by Maggie Tallerman and Kathleen Gibson, 512-27. New York: Oxford University Press.
Hurford, James R. 2011. The Origins of Grammar. New York: Oxford University Press.
Jakobson, Roman. 1968 . Child Language, Aphasia and Phonological Universals. Translated by Allan R. Keller. The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton.
Jakobson, Roman, and Morris Halle. 1956. Fundamentals of Language. The Hague, Netherlands: Mouton.
Jespersen, Otto. 1922. Language: Its Nature, Development and Origin. New York: Macmillan.
Kahneman, Daniel. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
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