A Comparative Evolutionary Approach to the Origins and Evolution of Cognition and of Language

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

Why do humans possess language, a unique communication system that singularly combines complex structure, symbolicity, social learning, wide diversity and unlimited expressivity? This chapter presents a comparative evolutionary approach to answering this question. It reveals how the social and cognitive abilities present not only in apes and in extinct hominin species, but also in distantly related animals can help us understand language origin and language evolution. Languages evolved together with our cultural world and with capacities that are extraordinarily developed in our species, such as imitation and cooperation. The idea of co-evolution, which takes into account the intricate patterns of interaction among these and other factors, takes center stage in this review of explanations of the origins and evolution of language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Historical Linguistics
Place of PublicationHoboken, NJ
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Volume2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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    Tamariz, M. (Accepted/In press). A Comparative Evolutionary Approach to the Origins and Evolution of Cognition and of Language. In Handbook of Historical Linguistics (Vol. 2). Wiley-Blackwell.