Results for 'language evolution'

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  1.  68
    Language Evolution by Iterated Learning With Bayesian Agents.Thomas L. Griffiths & Michael L. Kalish - 2007 - Cognitive Science 31 (3):441-480.
    Languages are transmitted from person to person and generation to generation via a process of iterated learning: people learn a language from other people who once learned that language themselves. We analyze the consequences of iterated learning for learning algorithms based on the principles of Bayesian inference, assuming that learners compute a posterior distribution over languages by combining a prior (representing their inductive biases) with the evidence provided by linguistic data. We show that when learners sample languages from (...)
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  2.  56
    Language Evolution Can Be Shaped by the Structure of the World.Amy Perfors & Daniel J. Navarro - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (4):775-793.
    Human languages vary in many ways but also show striking cross-linguistic universals. Why do these universals exist? Recent theoretical results demonstrate that Bayesian learners transmitting language to each other through iterated learning will converge on a distribution of languages that depends only on their prior biases about language and the quantity of data transmitted at each point; the structure of the world being communicated about plays no role (Griffiths & Kalish, , ). We revisit these findings and show (...)
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  3.  44
    Language Evolution: Constraints and Opportunities From Modern Genetics.Dan Dediu & Morten H. Christiansen - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (2):361-370.
    Our understanding of language, its origins and subsequent evolution, is shaped not only by data and theories from the language sciences, but also fundamentally by the biological sciences. Recent developments in genetics and evolutionary theory offer both very strong constraints on what scenarios of language evolution are possible and probable, but also offer exciting opportunities for understanding otherwise puzzling phenomena. Due to the intrinsic breathtaking rate of advancement in these fields, and the complexity, subtlety, and (...)
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  4.  16
    Understanding Language Evolution: Beyond Pan‐Centrism.Adriano R. Lameira & Josep Call - 2020 - Bioessays 42 (3):1900102.
    Language does not fossilize but this does not mean that the language's evolutionary timeline is lost forever. Great apes provide a window back in time on our last prelinguistic ancestor's communication and cognition. Phylogeny and cladistics implicitly conjure Pan (chimpanzees, bonobos) as a superior (often the only) model for language evolution compared with earlier diverging lineages, Gorilla and Pongo (orangutans). Here, in reviewing the literature, it is shown that Pan do not surpass other great apes along (...)
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  5.  45
    Language Evolution: Why Hockett’s Design Features are a Non-Starter.Sławomir Wacewicz & Przemysław Żywiczyński - 2015 - Biosemiotics 8 (1):29-46.
    The set of design features developed by Charles Hockett in the 1950s and 1960s remains probably the most influential means of juxtaposing animal communication with human language. However, the general theoretical perspective of Hockett is largely incompatible with that of modern language evolution research. Consequently, we argue that his classificatory system—while useful for some descriptive purposes—is of very limited use as a theoretical framework for evolutionary linguistics. We see this incompatibility as related to the ontology of (...), i.e. deriving from Hockett’s interest in language as a product rather than a suite of sensorimotor, cognitive and social abilities that enable the use but also acquisition of language by biological creatures. After a reconstruction of Hockett’s views on design features, we raise two criticisms: focus on the means at the expense of content and focus on the code itself rather than the cognitive abilities of its users. Finally, referring to empirical data, we illustrate some of the problems resulting from Hockett’s approach by addressing three specific points—namely arbitrariness and semanticity, cultural transmission, and displacement—and show how the change of perspective allows to overcome those difficulties. (shrink)
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  6. Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution.Nick Chater & Morten H. Christiansen - 2010 - Cognitive Science 34 (7):1131-1157.
    Recent research suggests that language evolution is a process of cultural change, in which linguistic structures are shaped through repeated cycles of learning and use by domain-general mechanisms. This paper draws out the implications of this viewpoint for understanding the problem of language acquisition, which is cast in a new, and much more tractable, form. In essence, the child faces a problem of induction, where the objective is to coordinate with others (C-induction), rather than to model the (...)
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  7. Studying Language Evolution: From Ethology and Comparative Zoology to Social Primatology and Evolutionary Psychology.Nathalie Gontier & Marco Pina - 2014 - In Marco Pina & Nathalie Gontier (eds.), The Evolution of Social Communication in Primates: A Multidisciplinary Approach. pp. 1-30.
  8.  6
    Language Evolution Can Be Shaped by the Structure of the World.Andrew Perfors & Daniel J. Navarro - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (4):775-793.
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  9.  20
    Why Language Evolution Needs Memory: Systems and Ecological Approaches.Anton V. Sukhoverkhov & Carol A. Fowler - 2015 - Biosemiotics 8 (1):47-65.
    The main purpose of this article is to consider the significance of different types of memory and non-genetic inheritance and different biosemiotic systems for the origin and evolution of language. It presents language and memory as distributed, heteronomous and system-determined processes implemented in biological and social domains. The article emphasises that language and other sign systems are both ecological and inductive systems that were caused by and always correlate with the environment and deductive systems that are (...)
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  10. Language evolution without evolution.Derek Bickerton - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):669-670.
    Jackendoff's major syntactic exemplar is deeply unrepresentative of most syntactic relations and operations. His treatment of language evolution is vulnerable to Occam's Razor, hypothesizing stages of dubious independence and unexplained adaptiveness, and effectively divorcing the evolution of language from other aspects of human evolution. In particular, it ignores connections between language and the massive discontinuities in human cognitive evolution.
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  11.  74
    Language evolution: Body of evidence?Chen Yu & Dana H. Ballard - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):148-149.
    Our computational studies of infant language learning estimate the inherent difficulty of Arbib's proposal. We show that body language provides a strikingly helpful scaffold for learning language that may be necessary but not sufficient, given the absence of sophisticated language in other species. The extraordinary language abilities of Homo sapiens must have evolved from other pressures, such as sexual selection.
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  12.  46
    Defining Pantomime for Language Evolution Research.Przemysław Żywiczyński, Sławomir Wacewicz & Marta Sibierska - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):307-318.
    Although pantomimic scenarios recur in the most important historical as well as current accounts of language origins, a serious problem is the lack of a commonly accepted definition of “pantomime”. We scrutinise several areas of study, from theatre studies to semiotics to primatology, pointing to the differences in use that may give rise to misunderstandings, and working towards a set of definitional criteria of “pantomime” specifically useful for language evolution research. We arrive at a definition of pantomime (...)
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  13.  26
    Language evolution: Two tracks are not enough.A. Charles Catania - 2009 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (5):451-452.
    This commentary argues that Evans & Levinson (E&L) should expand their two-track model to a three-track model in which biological and cultural evolution interact with the evolution of an individual's language repertories in ontogeny. It also comments on the relevance of the argument from the poverty of the stimulus and offers a caveat, based on analogous issues in biology, on the metaphor of language as a container, whether of meanings or of other content.
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  14.  4
    Language Evolution and Neuromechanisms.Terrence W. Deacon - 2017 - In William Bechtel & George Graham (eds.), A Companion to Cognitive Science. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. pp. 212–225.
    The first major advances in the understanding of the neurological bases for language abilities were the results of the study of the brains and behaviors of patients with language impairments due to focal brain damage. The two most prominent pioneers in this field are remembered because their names have become associated with distinctive aphasia (language loss) syndromes and the brain regions associated with them. In 1861 Paul Broca described the damage site in the brain of a patient (...)
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  15.  40
    Language evolution in apes and autonomous agents.Angelo Cangelosi - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (5):622-623.
    Computational approaches based on autonomous agents share with new ape language research the same principles of dynamical system paradigms. A recent model for the evolution of symbolization and language in autonomous agents is briefly described in order to highlight the similarities between these two methodologies. The additional benefits of autonomous agent modeling in the field of language origin research are highlighted.
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  16.  4
    Darwinian language evolution.Helmut Weiß - 2021 - Evolutionary Linguistic Theory 3 (1):73-82.
    Haider’s target paper presents a fresh and inspiring look at the nature of grammar change. The overall impression of his approach is very convincing, especially his insistence on the point that language was not selected for communication – hence it is no adaptation to communicative use. Nevertheless, I think three topics are in need of further discussion and elaboration. First, I will discuss the question whether Haider’s conception of Darwinian selection covers all aspects of grammar change. Second, I will (...)
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  17.  13
    Language, evolution, and learning.Philip Lieberman - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (3):459.
  18.  43
    Language Evolution and Robotics: Issues on Symbol Grounding.Paul Vogt - 2006 - In A. Loula, R. Gudwin & J. Queiroz (eds.), Artificial Cognition Systems. Idea Group Publishers. pp. 176.
  19. Language Evolution.Alexander Mehler - 2006 - In A. Loula, R. Gudwin & J. Queiroz (eds.), Artificial Cognition Systems. Idea Group Publishers. pp. 140.
     
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  20.  25
    Seeing language evolution in the eye: Adaptive complexity or visual illusion?Lyn Frazier - 1990 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):731-732.
  21. Language Evolution: Enlarging the Picture.Keith Stenning & Michiel van Lambalgen - 2012 - In David McFarland, Keith Stenning & Maggie McGonigle (eds.), The Complex Mind. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 264-282.
     
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  22. Language evolution: a gap still unbridged.J. R. Hurford - 1995 - Semiotica 104 (3-4):365-370.
     
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  23. Constructing a Consensus on Language Evolution? Convergences and Differences Between Biolinguistic and Usage-Based Approaches.Michael Pleyer & Stefan Hartmann - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10:496334.
    Two of the main theoretical approaches to the evolution of language are biolinguistics and usage-based approaches. Both are often conceptualized as belonging to seemingly irreconcilable ‘camps.’ Biolinguistic approaches assume that the ability to acquire language is based on a language-specific genetic foundation. Usage-based approaches, on the other hand, stress the importance of domain-general cognitive capacities, social cognition, and interaction. However, there have been a number of recent developments in both paradigms which suggest that biolinguistic and usage-based (...)
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  24.  27
    Chiastic Antisymmetry in Language Evolution.Jamin Pelkey - 2013 - American Journal of Semiotics 29 (1-4):39-68.
    Cross-linguistic evidence from widespread modes of language variation and change demonstrate that language evolution proceeds (at least in part, perhaps in whole) by breaking and renewing symmetrical patterns. Since this activity is identified with semiosis (Nöth 1994, 1998), these patterns-in-process establish further grounds for insisting that the science of language be more adequately situated within semiotic understanding as “an ideoscopic science and sub-discipline under the general doctrine of signs” (Deely 2012: 334). After summarizing the theoretical context (...)
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  25.  46
    Language Disorders and Language Evolution: Constraints on Hypotheses.Antonio Benítez-Burraco & Cedric Boeckx - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (3):269-274.
    It has been suggested that language disorders can serve as real windows onto language evolution. We examine this claim in this paper. We see ourselves forced to qualify three central assumptions of the the ‘disorders-as-windows’ hypothesis. After discussing the main outcome of decades of research on the linguistic ontogeny of pathological populations, we argue that language disorders should be construed as conditions for which canalization has failed to cope fully with developmental perturbations. We conclude that a (...)
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  26.  10
    From Physical Aggression to Verbal Behavior: Language Evolution and Self-Domestication Feedback Loop.Ljiljana Progovac & Antonio Benítez-Burraco - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    We propose that human self-domestication favored the emergence of a less aggressive phenotype in our species, more precisely phenotype prone to replace (reactive) physical aggression with verbal aggression. In turn, the (gradual) transition to verbal aggression and to more sophisticated forms of verbal behavior favored self-domestication, with the two processes engaged in a reinforcing feedback loop, considering that verbal behavior entails not only less violence and better survival, but also more opportunities to interact longer and socialize with more conspecifics, ultimately (...)
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  27. Your theory of language evolution depends on your theory of language.Ray Jackendoff - unknown
    language to explain, and I want to show how this depends on what you think language is. So, what is language? Everybody recognizes that language is partly culturally dependent: there is a huge variety of disparate languages in the world, passed down through cultural transmission. If that’s all there is to language, a theory of the evolution of language has nothing at all to explain. We need only explain the cultural evolution of (...)
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  28.  46
    New Frontiers in Language Evolution and Development.D. Kimbrough Oller, Rick Dale & Ulrike Griebel - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (2):353-360.
    This article introduces the Special Issue and its focus on research in language evolution with emphasis on theory as well as computational and robotic modeling. A key theme is based on the growth of evolutionary developmental biology or evo-devo. The Special Issue consists of 13 articles organized in two sections: A) Theoretical foundations and B) Modeling and simulation studies. All the papers are interdisciplinary in nature, encompassing work in biological and linguistic foundations for the study of language (...)
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  29.  25
    Cognitive influences in language evolution: Psycholinguistic predictors of loan word borrowing.Padraic Monaghan & Seán G. Roberts - 2019 - Cognition 186 (C):147-158.
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  30. Thinking in language?: Evolution and a modularist possibility.Peter Carruthers - 1998 - In Peter Carruthers & Jill Boucher (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 94-119.
    This chapter argues that our language faculty can both be a peripheral module of the mind and be crucially implicated in a variety of central cognitive functions, including conscious propositional thinking and reasoning. I also sketch arguments for the view that natural language representations (e.g. of Chomsky's Logical Form, or LF) might serve as a lingua franca for interactions (both conscious and non-conscious) between a number of quasi-modular central systems. The ideas presented are compared and contrasted with the (...)
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  31.  36
    Social symbol grounding and language evolution.Paul Vogt & Federico Divina - 2007 - Interaction Studies 8 (1):31-52.
    This paper illustrates how external symbol grounding can be studied in simulations with large populations. We discuss how we can simulate language evolution in a relatively complex environment which has been developed in the context of the New Ties project. This project has the objective of evolving a cultural society and, in doing so, the agents have to evolve a communication system that is grounded in their interactions with their virtual environment and with other individuals. A preliminary experiment (...)
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  32.  22
    Social symbol grounding and language evolution.Paul Vogt & Federico Divina - 2007 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 8 (1):31-52.
    This paper illustrates how external symbol grounding can be studied in simulations with large populations. We discuss how we can simulate language evolution in a relatively complex environment which has been developed in the context of the New Ties project. This project has the objective of evolving a cultural society and, in doing so, the agents have to evolve a communication system that is grounded in their interactions with their virtual environment and with other individuals. A preliminary experiment (...)
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  33.  48
    Language acquisition recapitulates language evolution?Teresa Satterfield - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):532-533.
    Christiansen & Chater (C&C) focus solely on general-purpose cognitive processes in their elegant conceptualization of language evolution. However, numerous developmental facts attested in L1 acquisition confound C&C's subsequent claim that the logical problem of language acquisition now plausibly recapitulates that of language evolution. I argue that language acquisition should be viewed instead as a multi-layered construction involving the interplay of general and domain-specific learning mechanisms.
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  34.  14
    Mirror neurons, gestures and language evolution.Leonardo Fogassi & Pier Francesco Ferrari - 2005 - Interaction Studies. Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies / Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systemsinteraction Studies 5 (3):345-363.
    Different theories have been proposed for explaining the evolution of language. One of this maintains that gestural communication has been the precursor of human speech. Here we present a series of neurophysiological evidences that support this hypothesis. Communication by gestures, defined as the capacity to emit and recognize meaningful actions, may have originated in the monkey motor cortex from a neural system whose basic function was action understanding. This system is made by neurons of monkey’s area F5, named (...)
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  35.  55
    Reconsidering the Role of Manual Imitation in Language Evolution.Antonella Tramacere & Richard Moore - 2018 - Topoi 37 (2):319-328.
    In this paper, we distinguish between a number of different phenomena that have been called imitation, and identify one form—a high fidelity mechanism for social learning—considered to be crucial for the development of language. Subsequently, we consider a common claim in the language evolution literature, which is that prior to the emergence of vocal language our ancestors communicated using a sophisticated gestural protolanguage, the learning of some parts of which required manual imitation. Drawing upon evidence from (...)
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  36.  19
    Broca's area and language evolution.Stevan Harnad - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):1-5.
    : Grodzinsky associates Broca's area with three kinds of deficit, relating to articulation, comprehension (involving trace deletion), and production (involving "tree priming"). Could these be special cases of one deficit? Evidence from research on language evolution suggests that they may all involve syllable structure or those aspects of syntax that evolved through exploiting the neural mechanisms underlying syllable structure.
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  37.  34
    Broca's area and language evolution.Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):28-29.
    Grodzinsky associates Broca's area with three kinds of deficit, relating to articulation, comprehension (involving trace deletion), and production (involving “tree pruning”). Could these be special cases of one deficit? Evidence from research on language evolution suggests that they may all involve syllable structure or those aspects of syntax that evolved through exploiting the neural mechanisms underlying syllable structure.
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  38.  42
    Gesture in language evolution: Could I but raise my hand to it!John L. Bradshaw - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):213-214.
    An intervening gestural stage in language evolution, though seductive, is ultimately redundant, and is not necessarily supported by modern human or chimp behaviour. The findings and arguments offered from mirror neurones, anatomy, and lateralization are capable of other interpretations, and the manipulative dextrality of chimps is under-recognized. While language certainly possesses certain unique properties, its roots are ancient.
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  39.  53
    Mind and Language : Evolution in Contemporary Theories of Cognition.Tanya De Villiers - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Stellenbosch
    This thesis gives an historical overview of some of the issues connecting philosophy of mind and philosophy of langauge in the twentieth century, especially with regard to the relevance of both disciplines to theories of cognition. Specifically, the interrelation between the theories of Peirce,Chomsky, Derrida, and Deacon are discussed. Furthermore, an overview of twentieth century views on mind in both philosophy and the cognitive sciences is given. The argument is made that many of the apparently insurmountable issues that plague theories (...)
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  40. Scalar Implicatures, Communication, and Language Evolution.Salvatore Pistoia Reda - 2010 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Objects of Inquiry in Philosophy of Language and Linguistics. Ontos Verlag.
     
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  41.  13
    Disentangling Pantomime From Early Sign in a New Sign Language: Window Into Language Evolution Research.Ana Mineiro, Inmaculada Concepción Báez-Montero, Mara Moita, Isabel Galhano-Rodrigues & Alexandre Castro-Caldas - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    In this study, we aim to disentangle pantomime from early signs in a newly-born sign language: Sao Tome and Principe Sign Language. Our results show that within 2 years of their first contact with one another, a community of 100 participants interacting everyday was able to build a shared language. The growth of linguistic systematicity, which included a decrease in use of pantomime, reduction of the amplitude of signs and an increase in articulation economy, showcases a learning, (...)
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  42.  53
    Brains, genes, and language evolution: A new synthesis.Morten H. Christiansen & Nick Chater - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):537-558.
    Our target article argued that a genetically specified Universal Grammar (UG), capturing arbitrary properties of languages, is not tenable on evolutionary grounds, and that the close fit between language and language learners arises because language is shaped by the brain, rather than the reverse. Few commentaries defend a genetically specified UG. Some commentators argue that we underestimate the importance of processes of cultural transmission; some propose additional cognitive and brain mechanisms that may constrain language and perhaps (...)
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  43.  87
    Why language really is not a communication system: a cognitive view of language evolution.Anne Colette Reboul - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:163254.
    While most evolutionary scenarios for language see it as a communication system with consequences on the language-ready brain, there are major difficulties for such a view. First, language has a core combination of features—semanticity, discrete infinity, decoupling—that makes it unique among communication systems and that raise deep problems for the view that it evolved for communication. Second, extant models of communication systems—the code model of communication (see Millikan 2005) and the ostensive model of communication (see Scott-Phillips 2015) (...)
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  44.  38
    Mental Time Travel and language evolution: a narrative account of the origins of human communication.Ferretti Francesco, Ines Adornetti, Chiera Alessandra, Serena Nicchiarelli, Rita Magni, Giovanni Valeri & Andrea Marini - 2017 - Language Sciences 63:105-118.
    In this paper we propose a narrative account for the origin of language. Such a proposal is based on two assumptions. The first is conceptual and concerns the idea that the distinctive feature of human language (what sets it apart from other forms of animal communication) has to be traced to its inherently narrative character. The second assumption is methodological and connected to the idea that the study of language origin is closely related to the analysis of (...)
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  45. Are non-human primates Gricean? Intentional communication in language evolution.Lucas Battich - 2018 - Pulse: A History, Sociology and Philosophy of Science Journal 5:70-88.
    The field of language evolution has recently made Gricean pragmatics central to its task, particularly within comparative studies between human and non-human primate communication. The standard model of Gricean communication requires a set of complex cognitive abilities, such as belief attribution and understanding nested higher-order mental states. On this model, non-human primate communication is then of a radically different kind to ours. Moreover, the cognitive demands in the standard view are also too high for human infants, who nevertheless (...)
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  46. Cognitive basis for language evolution in nonhuman primates.Ruth Tincoff, Marc D. Hauser & Marc Hauser - 2006 - In Keith Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 553--538.
     
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  47.  45
    On externalization and cognitive continuity in language evolution.W. Tecumseh Fitch - 2017 - Mind and Language 32 (5):597-606.
    In this commentary on Berwick and Chomsky's “Why Only Us,” I discuss three key points. I first offer a brief critique of their scholarship, notably their often unjustified dismissal of previous thinking about language evolution. But my main focus concerns two arguments central to the book's thesis: the irrelevance of externalization to language evolution and the discontinuity between human conceptual representations and those of other animals. I argue against both stances, using cognitive data from nonhuman species (...)
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  48.  16
    Structured Sequence Learning: Animal Abilities, Cognitive Operations, and Language Evolution.Christopher I. Petkov & Carel ten Cate - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (3):828-842.
    Human language is a salient example of a neurocognitive system that is specialized to process complex dependencies between sensory events distributed in time, yet how this system evolved and specialized remains unclear. Artificial Grammar Learning (AGL) studies have generated a wealth of insights into how human adults and infants process different types of sequencing dependencies of varying complexity. The AGL paradigm has also been adopted to examine the sequence processing abilities of nonhuman animals. We critically evaluate this growing literature (...)
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  49.  2
    Scalar Implicatures, Communication, and Language Evolution.Salvatore Pistoia Reda - 2010 - In Piotr Stalmaszczyk (ed.), Philosophy of Language and Linguistics: Volume I: The Formal Turn; Volume II: The Philosophical Turn. De Gruyter. pp. 199-214.
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  50.  14
    Williams Syndrome, Human Self-Domestication, and Language Evolution.Amy Niego & Antonio Benítez-Burraco - 2019 - Frontiers in Psychology 10.
    Language evolution resulted from changes in our biology, behavior, and culture. One source of these changes might be human self-domestication. Williams syndrome (WS) is a clinical condition with a clearly defined genetic basis and resulting in a distinctive behavioral and cognitive profile, including enhanced sociability. In this paper we show evidence that the WS phenotype can be satisfactorily construed as a hyper-domesticated human phenotype, plausibly resulting from the effect of the WS hemydeletion on selected candidates for domestication and (...)
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