The Origins of Grammar

An Anthropological Perspective
Author: Martin Edwardes
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1441159142
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 192
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Quintessential work on the nature and origins of language grammar, and its role in language and our own evolution as humans.

The Origin and Diversification of Language


Author: Morris Swadesh
Publisher: Transaction Publishers
ISBN: 9780202308418
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 350
View: 2734
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Morris Swadesh, one of this century's foremost scien- tific investigators of language, dedicated much of his life to the study of the origin and evolution of language. This volume, left nearly completed at his death and edited posthumously by Joel F. Sherzer, is his last major study of this difficult subject. Swadesh discusses the simple qualities of human speech also present in animal language, and establishes distinctively human techniques of expression by comparing the common features that are found in modern and ancient languages. He treats the diversification of language not only by isolating root words in different languages, but also by dealing with sound systems, with forms of composition, and with sentence structure. In so doing, he demonstrates the evidence for the expansion of all language from a single central area. Swadesh supports his hypothesis by "exhibits" that conveniently present the evidence in tabular form. Further clarity is provided by the use of a suggestive practical phonetic system, intelligible to the student as well as to the professional. The book also contains an Appendix, in which the distinguished ethnographer of language, Dell Hymes, gives a valuable account of the prewar linguistic tradition within which Swadesh did some of his most important work. Morris Swadesh (1909-1967) initiated or was associated with the introduction of many new approaches in scientific linguistics, including phonemics, glottochronology, and new concepts of language evolution. At the time of his death, he was research professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Joel F. Sherzer is a professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author, editor, or compiler of many books, including Stories, Myths, Chants, and Songs of the Kuna Indians, Speech Play and Verbal Art, and Verbal Art in San Blas: Kuna Culture through its Discourse.

Human Origins

Contributions from Social Anthropology
Author: Camilla Power,Morna Finnegan,Hilary Callan
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1785333798
Category: Social Science
Page: 364
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Human Origins brings together new thinking by social anthropologists and other scholars on the evolution of human culture and society. No other discipline has more relevant expertise to consider the emergence of humans as the symbolic species. Yet, social anthropologists have been conspicuously absent from debates about the origins of modern humans. These contributions explore why that is, and how social anthropology can shed light on early kinship and economic relations, gender politics, ritual, cosmology, ethnobiology, medicine, and the evolution of language.

New Perspectives on the Origins of Language


Author: Claire Lefebvre,Bernard Comrie,Henri Cohen
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9027271135
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 582
View: 8278
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The question of how language emerged is one of the most fascinating and difficult problems in science. In recent years, a strong resurgence of interest in the emergence of language from an evolutionary perspective has been helped by the convergence of approaches, methods, and ideas from several disciplines. The selection of contributions in this volume highlight scenarios of language origin and the prerequisites for a faculty of language based on biological, historical, social, cultural, and paleontological forays into the conditions that brought forth and favored language emergence, augmented by insights from sister disciplines. The chapters all reflect new speculation, discoveries and more refined research methods leading to a more focused understanding of the range of possibilities and how we might choose among them. There is much that we do not yet know, but the outlines of the path ahead are ever clearer.

Genesis of Symbolic Thought


Author: Alan Barnard
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107025699
Category: Art
Page: 194
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The distinguished social anthropologist Alan Barnard explores the origins of the symbolic thought that is fundamental to human existence.

New Perspectives on the Origins of Language


Author: Claire Lefebvre,Bernard Comrie,Henri Cohen
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9027271135
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 582
View: 7031
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The question of how language emerged is one of the most fascinating and difficult problems in science. In recent years, a strong resurgence of interest in the emergence of language from an evolutionary perspective has been helped by the convergence of approaches, methods, and ideas from several disciplines. The selection of contributions in this volume highlight scenarios of language origin and the prerequisites for a faculty of language based on biological, historical, social, cultural, and paleontological forays into the conditions that brought forth and favored language emergence, augmented by insights from sister disciplines. The chapters all reflect new speculation, discoveries and more refined research methods leading to a more focused understanding of the range of possibilities and how we might choose among them. There is much that we do not yet know, but the outlines of the path ahead are ever clearer.

Linguistic Anthropology

A Reader
Author: Alessandro Duranti
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1405126337
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 522
View: 4771
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Linguistic Anthropology: A Reader is a comprehensive collection of the best work that has been published in this exciting and growing area of anthropology, and is organized to provide a guide to key issues in the study of language as a cultural resource and speaking as a cultural practice. Revised and updated, this second edition contains eight new articles on key subjects, including speech communities, the power and performance of language, and narratives Selections are both historically oriented and thematically coherent, and are accessibly grouped according to four major themes: speech community and communicative competence; the performance of language; language socialization and literacy practices; and the power of language An extensive introduction provides an original perspective on the development of the field and highlights its most compelling issues Each section includes a brief introductory statement, sets of guiding questions, and list of recommended readings on the main topics

Origins of Human Communication


Author: Michael Tomasello
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262261200
Category: Social Science
Page: 408
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Human communication is grounded in fundamentally cooperative, even shared, intentions. In this original and provocative account of the evolutionary origins of human communication, Michael Tomasello connects the fundamentally cooperative structure of human communication (initially discovered by Paul Grice) to the especially cooperative structure of human (as opposed to other primate) social interaction. Tomasello argues that human cooperative communication rests on a psychological infrastructure of shared intentionality (joint attention, common ground), evolved originally for collaboration and culture more generally. The basic motives of the infrastructure are helping and sharing: humans communicate to request help, inform others of things helpfully, and share attitudes as a way of bonding within the cultural group. These cooperative motives each created different functional pressures for conventionalizing grammatical constructions. Requesting help in the immediate you-and-me and here-and-now, for example, required very little grammar, but informing and sharing required increasingly complex grammatical devices. Drawing on empirical research into gestural and vocal communication by great apes and human infants (much of it conducted by his own research team), Tomasello argues further that humans' cooperative communication emerged first in the natural gestures of pointing and pantomiming. Conventional communication, first gestural and then vocal, evolved only after humans already possessed these natural gestures and their shared intentionality infrastructure along with skills of cultural learning for creating and passing along jointly understood communicative conventions. Challenging the Chomskian view that linguistic knowledge is innate, Tomasello proposes instead that the most fundamental aspects of uniquely human communication are biological adaptations for cooperative social interaction in general and that the purely linguistic dimensions of human communication are cultural conventions and constructions created by and passed along within particular cultural groups.

Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language


Author: Robin Dunbar
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674363366
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 230
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What a big brain we have for all the small talk we make. It's an evolutionary riddle that at long last makes sense in this intriguing book about what gossip has done for our talkative species. Psychologist Robin Dunbar looks at gossip as an instrument of social order and cohesion--much like the endless grooming with which our primate cousins tend to their social relationships. Apes and monkeys, humanity's closest kin, differ from other animals in the intensity of these relationships. All their grooming is not so much about hygiene as it is about cementing bonds, making friends, and influencing fellow primates. But for early humans, grooming as a way to social success posed a problem: given their large social groups of 150 or so, our earliest ancestors would have had to spend almost half their time grooming one another--an impossible burden. What Dunbar suggests--and his research, whether in the realm of primatology or in that of gossip, confirms--is that humans developed language to serve the same purpose, but far more efficiently. It seems there is nothing idle about chatter, which holds together a diverse, dynamic group--whether of hunter-gatherers, soldiers, or workmates. Anthropologists have long assumed that language developed in relationships among males during activities such as hunting. Dunbar's original and extremely interesting studies suggest otherwise: that language in fact evolved in response to our need to keep up to date with friends and family. We needed conversation to stay in touch, and we still need it in ways that will not be satisfied by teleconferencing, email, or any other communication technology. As Dunbar shows, the impersonal world of cyberspace will not fulfill our primordial need for face-to-face contact. From the nit-picking of chimpanzees to our chats at coffee break, from neuroscience to paleoanthropology, Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language offers a provocative view of what makes us human, what holds us together, and what sets us apart.

Origin and Evolution of Languages

Approaches, Models, Paradigms
Author: Bernard Laks
Publisher: Equinox Publishing (UK)
ISBN: N.A
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 344
View: 601
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Debates the issues in the field of the origin and evolution of language through interdisciplinary perspectives from linguistics (different branches thereof), philosophy, history and prehistory, archaeology, anthropology, genetics, computer-modelling.

The Early Islamic Grammatical Tradition


Author: Ramzi Baalbaki
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351891251
Category: History
Page: 416
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The last decades have witnessed a major resurgence of interest in the Arabic grammatical tradition. Many of the issues on which previous scholarship focused - for example, foreign influences on the beginnings of grammatical activity, and the existence of grammatical "schools" - have been revisited, and new areas of research have been opened up, particularly in relation to terminology, the analytical methods of the grammarians, and the interrelatedness between grammar and other fields such as the study of the Qur'an, exegesis and logic. As a result, not only has the centrality of the Arabic grammatical tradition to Arab culture as a whole become an established fact, but also the fields of general and historical linguistics have finally come to realize the importance of Arabic grammar as one of the major linguistic traditions of the world. The sixteen studies included in this volume have been chosen to highlight the themes which occupy modern scholarship and the problems which face it; while the introductory essay analyses these themes within the wider context of early Islamic activity in philology as well as related areas of religious studies and philosophy.

Empires of the Word

A Language History of the World
Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062047359
Category: History
Page: 640
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Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.

Advances in Functional Linguistics

Columbia School Beyond Its Origins
Author: Joseph Davis,Radmila Jovanovi? Gorup,Nancy Stern
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 9027215669
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 344
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This collection carries the functionalist Columbia School of linguistics forward with contributions on linguistic theory, semiotics, phonology, grammar, lexicon, and anthropology. Columbia School linguistics views language as a symbolic tool whose structure is shaped both by its communicative function and by the characteristics of its users, and considers contextual, pragmatic, physical, and psychological factors in its analyses. This volume builds upon three previous Columbia School anthologies and further explores issues raised in them, including fundamental theoretical and analytical questions. And it raises new issues that take Columbia School “beyond its origins.” The contributions illustrate both consistency since the school's inception over thirty years ago and innovation spurred by groundbreaking analysis. The volume will be of interest to all functional linguists and historians of linguistics. Languages analyzed include Byelorussian, English, Japanese, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish, and Swahili.

A Grammar of Luwo

An anthropological approach
Author: Anne Storch
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN: 9027269378
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 291
View: 9328
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This book is a description of Luwo, a Western Nilotic language of South Sudan. Luwo is used by multilingual, dynamic communities of practice as one language among others that form individual and flexible repertoires. It is a language that serves as a means of expressing the Self, as a medium of art and self-actualization, and sometimes as a medium of writing. It is spoken in the home and in public spaces, by fairly large numbers of people who identify themselves as Luwo and as members of all kinds of other groups. In order to provide insights into these dynamic and diverse realities of Luwo, this book contains both a concise description and analysis of the linguistic features and structures of Luwo, and an approach to the anthropological linguistics of this language. The latter is presented in the form of separate chapters on possession, number, experiencer constructions, spatial orientation, perception and cognition. In all sections of this study, sociolinguistic information is provided wherever this is useful and possible, detailed information on the semantics of grammatical features and constructions is given, and discussions of theory-oriented approaches to various linguistic features of Luwo are presented.

A Grammar of Luwo

An anthropological approach
Author: Anne Storch
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Company
ISBN: 9027269378
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 291
View: 7801
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This book is a description of Luwo, a Western Nilotic language of South Sudan. Luwo is used by multilingual, dynamic communities of practice as one language among others that form individual and flexible repertoires. It is a language that serves as a means of expressing the Self, as a medium of art and self-actualization, and sometimes as a medium of writing. It is spoken in the home and in public spaces, by fairly large numbers of people who identify themselves as Luwo and as members of all kinds of other groups. In order to provide insights into these dynamic and diverse realities of Luwo, this book contains both a concise description and analysis of the linguistic features and structures of Luwo, and an approach to the anthropological linguistics of this language. The latter is presented in the form of separate chapters on possession, number, experiencer constructions, spatial orientation, perception and cognition. In all sections of this study, sociolinguistic information is provided wherever this is useful and possible, detailed information on the semantics of grammatical features and constructions is given, and discussions of theory-oriented approaches to various linguistic features of Luwo are presented.

The Grammar of Knowledge

A Cross-Linguistic Typology
Author: R. M. W. Dixon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198701314
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 289
View: 9461
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This book explores the expression of information source, inferences, assumptions, probability and possibility, and gradations of doubt and beliefs across a wide range of languages in different cultural settings. Like others in the series it will interest both linguists and linguistically-minded anthropologists.

Paul Broca and the Origins of Language in the Brain


Author: Leonard L. LaPointe
Publisher: Plural Publishing
ISBN: 1597566047
Category: Medical
Page: 390
View: 3048
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The Evolutionary Emergence of Language

Social Function and the Origins of Linguistic Form
Author: Chris Knight,Michael Studdert-Kennedy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521786966
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 426
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This book covers the origins of language, combining social and natural science perspectives.

Human Language and Our Reptilian Brain

The Subcortical Bases of Speech, Syntax, and Thought
Author: Philip Lieberman
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674040229
Category: Medical
Page: 240
View: 3462
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This book is an entry into the fierce current debate among psycholinguists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary theorists about the nature and origins of human language. A prominent neuroscientist here takes up the Darwinian case, using data seldom considered by psycholinguists and neurolinguists to argue that human language--though more sophisticated than all other forms of animal communication--is not a qualitatively different ability from all forms of animal communication, does not require a quantum evolutionary leap to explain it, and is not unified in a single "language instinct." Using clinical evidence from speech-impaired patients, functional neuroimaging, and evolutionary biology to make his case, Philip Lieberman contends that human language is not a single separate module but a functional neurological system made up of many separate abilities. Language remains as it began, Lieberman argues: a device for coping with the world. But in a blow to human narcissism, he makes the case that this most remarkable human ability is a by-product of our remote reptilian ancestors' abilities to dodge hazards, seize opportunities, and live to see another day.

Anthropological perspectives of movement


Author: Weston La Barre
Publisher: Ayer Publishing
ISBN: N.A
Category: Science
Page: 200
View: 1192
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