Seeds of Speech Language Origin and Evolution

ISBN-10: 0521785715
ISBN-13: 9780521785716
Edition: 2000
Authors: Jean Aitchison
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Description: In this clear and non-technical overview, Jean Aitchison explores why language evolved and how it developed. She explains why language is so strange, outlines recent theories about its origin, and discusses possible paths of evolution.

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Book details

List price: $29.99
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 5/4/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

In this clear and non-technical overview, Jean Aitchison explores why language evolved and how it developed. She explains why language is so strange, outlines recent theories about its origin, and discusses possible paths of evolution.

After many years lecturing with the University of London (at the London School of Economics and Political Science), Jean Aitchison was Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford (1993 2003) and is now an Emeritus Professor. She is the author of a number of books on language, including The Language Web (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

Puzzles
A natural curiosity: how did language begin?
A peculiar habit: what is language for?
The bother at Babel: why do languages differ so much?
Distinct duties: is language an independent skill?
Origin
The family tree: the evolutionary background
A devious mind: the basic requirements
Broken air: inherited ingredients
Small beginnings: first steps
Evolution
The second word: the emergence of rules
The tower of speech: expansion
Time travelling: extra attachments
Rebuilding on the high seas: keeping going
Diffusion
The widening circle: moving outwards
The hidden core: the hunt for universals
The real magician: ruling the rules
Unweaving the rainbow: separating the strands
The endless stair: past and future.

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