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  1. Robin Allott (2001). The Great Mosaic Eye: Language and Evolution. Book Guild.
  2. Stephen G. Alter (2007). Darwin and the Linguists: The Coevolution of Mind and Language, Part 1. Problematic Friends. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 38 (3):573-584.
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  3. Michael A. Arbib (2011). Review Essay: Niche Construction and the Evolution of Language: Was Territory Scavenging the One Key Factor? Review Essay for Derek Bickerton (2009), Adams Tongue. How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans. New York: Hill Wang. Interaction Studies 12 (1):162-193.
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  4. Michael A. Arbib (2003). Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):668-669.
    I reject Jackendoff's view of Universal Grammar as something that evolved biologically but applaud his integration of blackboard architectures. I thus recall the HEARSAY speech understanding system—the AI system that introduced the concept of “blackboard”—to provide another perspective on Jackendoff's architecture.
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  5. Michael A. Arbib (2001). Co-Evolution of Human Consciousness and Language. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 929:195-220.
  6. David F. Armstrong (2003). Creative Solution to an Old Problem. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):211-212.
    Corballis presents a plausible evolutionary mechanism to explain the tight linkage between cerebral lateralization for language and for handedness in humans. This argument may be bolstered by invoking Stokoe's notion of semantic phonology to explain the role of Broca's area in grammatical functions.
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  7. Myron Charles Baker & Michael A. Cunningham (1985). The Biology of Bird-Song Dialects. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (1):85-100.
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  8. Lluís Barceló-Coblijn (2013). Biology: A Newcomer in Linguistics. [REVIEW] Biological Theory 7 (3):281-284.
  9. Jeffrey A. Barrett (2010). Faithful Description and the Incommensurability of Evolved Languages. Philosophical Studies 147 (1):123 - 137.
    Skyrms-Lewis signaling games illustrate how meaningful language may evolve from initially meaningless random signals (Lewis, Convention 1969; Skyrms 2008). Here we will consider how incommensurable languages might evolve in the context of signaling games. We will also consider the types of incommensurability exhibited between evolved languages in such games. We will find that sequentially evolved languages may be strongly incommensurable while still allowing for increasingly faithful descriptions of the world.
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  10. Antonio Benítez-Burraco & Cedric Boeckx (2013). Language Disorders and Language Evolution: Constraints on Hypotheses. Biological Theory 9 (3):1-6.
    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 robust link exists between (...)
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  11. Luca Berta (2010). Death and the Evolution of Language. Human Studies 33 (4):425-444.
    My hypothesis is that the cognitive challenge posed by death might have had a co-evolutionary role in the development of linguistic faculties. First, I claim that mirror neurons, which enable us to understand others’ actions and emotions, not only activate when we directly observe someone, but can also be triggered by language: words make us feel bodily sensations. Second, I argue that the death of another individual cannot be understood by virtue of the mirror neuron mechanism, since the dead provide (...)
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  12. Derek Bickerton (2003). Language Evolution Without Evolution. 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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  13. John L. Bradshaw (2003). Gesture in Language Evolution: Could I but Raise My Hand to It! 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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  14. Bruce Bridgeman (2005). Action Planning Supplements Mirror Systems in Language Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):129-130.
    Mirror systems must be supplemented by a planning capability to allow language to evolve. A capability for creating, storing, and executing plans for sequences of actions, having evolved in primates, was applied to sequences of communicatory acts. Language could exploit this already-existing capability. Further steps in language evolution may parallel steps seen in the development of modern children.
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  15. Henry Brighton, Rui Mata & Andreas Wilke (2006). Reconciling Vague and Formal Models of Language Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):282-282.
    One way of dealing with the proliferation of conjectures that accompany the diverse study of the evolution of language is to develop precise and testable models which reveal otherwise latent implications. We suggest how verbal theories of the role of individual development in language evolution can benefit from formal modeling, and vice versa.
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  16. Angelo Cangelosi (2002). Language Evolution in Apes and Autonomous Agents. 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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  17. Laureano Castro, Alfonso Medina & Miguel A. Toro (2004). Hominid Cultural Transmission and the Evolution of Language. Biology and Philosophy 19 (5):721-737.
    This paper presents the hypothesis that linguistic capacity evolved through the action of natural selection as an instrument which increased the efficiency of the cultural transmission system of early hominids. We suggest that during the early stages of hominization, hominid social learning, based on indirect social learning mechanisms and true imitation, came to constitute cumulative cultural transmission based on true imitation and the approval or disapproval of the learned behaviour of offspring. A key factor for this transformation was the development (...)
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  18. Michael Cavanaugh (1999). Review: The Symbolic Species: The Co-Evolution of Language and the Brain By Terrence W. Deacon. [REVIEW] Zygon 34 (1):195-198.
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  19. Nick Chater & Morten H. Christiansen (2010). Language Acquisition Meets Language Evolution. 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 structure of the (...)
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  20. Stephen R. L. Clark (2000). The Evolution of Language: Truth and Lies. Philosophy 75 (3):401-421.
    There is both theoretical and experimental reason to suppose that no-one could ever have learned to speak without an environment of language-users. How then did the first language-users learn? Animal communication systems provide no help, since human languages aren't constituted as a natural system of signs, and are essentially recursive and syntactic. Such languages aren't demanded by evolution, since most creatures, even intelligent creatures, manage very well without them. I propose that representations, and even public representations like sculptures, precede full (...)
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  21. O. F. Cook (1904). The Biological Evolution of Language. The Monist 14 (4):481-491.
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  22. Fiona Cowie (2010). By the Waters of Babel: Jean-Louis Dessalles' Why We Talk. Biology and Philosophy 25 (5):880-888.
    Why We Talk is a complex, ambitious, original, thought-provoking, and sometimes frustrating book. In it, Jean-Louis Dessalles argues that the critical spur to the development of human language—language’s true biological function—was political. It wasn’t political in any of the senses hitherto floated in the literature, though: language didn’t evolve because it fostered group cohesion or cooperation, or facilitated mind-reading or manipulation. Instead, language originally served more or less the same function as ritualized displays of aggression and submission in many social (...)
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  23. Stephen J. Cowley (2004). Early Hominins, Utterance-Activity, and Niche Construction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):509-510.
    Falk's argument takes for granted that “protolanguage” used a genetic propensity for producing word-forms. Using developmental evidence, I dispute this assumption and, instead, reframe the argument in terms of behavioral ecology. Viewed as niche-construction, putting the baby down can help clarify not only the origins of talk but also the capacity to modify what we are saying as we speak.
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  24. Lee Cronk (2004). Continuity, Displaced Reference, and Deception. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):510-511.
    Falk's contribution to a continuity theory of the origins of language would be complemented by an account of the origins of displaced reference, a key characteristic distinguishing human language from animal signaling systems. Because deception is one situation in which nonhumans may use signals in the absence of their referents, deception may have been the starting point for displaced reference.
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  25. Valentina Cuccio (2014). From a Bodily-Based Format of Knowledge to Symbols. The Evolution of Human Language. Biosemiotics 7 (1):49-61.
    Although ontogeny cannot recapitulate phylogeny, a two-level model of the acquisition of language will be here proposed and its implication for the evolution of the faculty of language will be discussed. It is here proposed that the identification of the cognitive requirements of language during ontogeny could help us in the task of identifying the phylogenetic achievements that concurred, at some point, to the acquisition of language during phylogeny. In this model speaking will be considered as a complex ability that (...)
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  26. Dan Dediu & Stephen C. Levinson (2013). On the Antiquity of Language: The Reinterpretation of Neandertal Linguistic Capacities and its Consequences. Frontiers in Psychology 4.
    It is usually assumed that modern language is a recent phenomenon, coinciding with the emergence of modern humans themselves. Many assume as well that this is the result of a single, sudden mutation giving rise to the full “modern package”. However, we argue here that recognizably modern language is likely an ancient feature of our genus pre-dating at least the common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals about half a million years ago. To this end, we adduce a broad range (...)
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  27. Jean-Louis Dessalles, Edouard Machery, Fiona Cowie & Jason Mckenzie Alexander (2010). Symposium on J.-L. Dessalles's Why We Talk. Biology and Philosophy 25 (5).
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  28. Mario A. Di Gregorio (2002). Reflections of a Nonpolitical Naturalist: Ernst Haeckel, Wilhelm Bleek, Friedrich Müller and the Meaning of Language. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 35 (1):79-109.
    Ernst Haeckel was convinced that the origin of language was the keyto understand human evolution. The distinguished slavist AugustSchleicher was his original inspiration on that matter but hiscousin Wilhelm Bleek was the deciisive source for his views of human language. Bleek lived in Southern Africa, studied Xhosa andZulu, and had the rare opportunity to learn the bushman languagewhich, with its characteristic clicks, suggested the form of theoriginal human language in its evolution from ape-like sounds.Haeckel's view of (...)
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  29. Robert B. Eckhardt (2006). The Evolution of Language: Present Behavioral Evidence for Past Genetic Reprogramming in the Human Lineage. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):284-285.
    Language and life history can be related functionally through the study of human ontogeny, thus usefully informing our understanding of several unique aspects of the evolution of species. The operational principles outlined by Locke & Bogin (L&B) demonstrate that the present can provide a useful framework for understanding the past.
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  30. Shimon Edelman, Evolution of Language Diversity: The Survival of the Fitness.
    We examined the role of fitness, commonly assumed without proof to be conferred by the mastery of language, in shaping the dynamics of language evolution. To that end, we introduced island migration (a concept borrowed from population genetics) into the shared lexicon model of communication (Nowak et al., 1999). The effect of fitness linear in language coherence was compared to a control condition of neutral drift. We found that in the neutral condition (no coherence-dependent fitness) even a small migration rate (...)
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  31. W. Tecumseh Fitch (2005). The Evolution of Language: A Comparative Review. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):193-203.
    For many years the evolution of language has been seen as a disreputable topic, mired in fanciful “just so stories” about language origins. However, in the last decade a new synthesis of modern linguistics, cognitive neuroscience and neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory has begun to make important contributions to our understanding of the biology and evolution of language. I review some of this recent progress, focusing on the value of the comparative method, which uses data from animal species to draw inferences about (...)
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  32. Roger S. Fouts & Gabriel Waters (2003). Unbalanced Human Apes and Syntax. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):221-222.
    We propose that the fine discrete movements of the tongue as used in speech are what account for the extreme lateralization in humans, and that handedness is a mere byproduct of tongue use. With regard to syntax, we support the Armstrong et al. (1995) proposition that syntax derives directly from gestural motor movements as opposed to facial expressions.
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  33. R. Allen Gardner (2006). Road to Language: Longer, More Believable, More Relevant. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):285-286.
    A realistic developmental view of language acquisition recognizes vocabulary and pragmatics as well as grammar with a lengthy period of growth in a favorable environment. Cross-fostering is a tool of behavioral biology for studying the interaction between genetic endowment and developmental environment. Sign language studies of cross-fostered chimpanzees measure development in a nearly human environment.
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  34. Lakshmi J. Gogate (2006). Dynamic Systems and the Evolution of Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):286-287.
    Locke & Bogin (L&B) suggest that theoretical principles of ontogenetic development apply to language evolution. If this is the case, then evolutionary theory should utilize epigenetic theories of development to theorize, model, and elucidate the evolution of language wherever possible. In this commentary, I evoke principles of dynamic systems theory to evaluate the evolutionary phenomena presented in the target article.
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  35. Steven Gross (2010). Origins of Human Communication - by Michael Tomasello. Mind and Language 25 (2):237-246.
  36. Marc D. Hauser (2000). A Primate Dictionary? Decoding the Function and Meaning of Another Species' Vocalizations. Cognitive Science 24 (3):445-475.
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  37. James R. Hurford (1998). The Evolution of Language and Languages. In [Book Chapter] (Unpublished).
    Human languages, such as French, Cantonese or American Sign Language, are socio- cultural entities. Knowledge of them (`competence') is acquired by exposure to the ap- propriate environment. Languages are maintained and transmitted by acts of speaking and writing; and this is also the means by which languages evolve. The utterances of one generation are processed by their children to form mental grammars, which in some sense summarize, or generalize over, the children's linguistic experiences. These grammars are the basis for the (...)
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  38. James R. Hurford & Simon Kirby (1998). [Book Chapter] (Unpublished).
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  39. James R. Hurford & Simon Kirby (1998). Co-Evolution of Language-Size and the Critical Period. In [Book Chapter] (Unpublished).
    Species evolve, very slowly, through selection of genes which give rise to phenotypes well adapted to their environments. The cultures, including the languages, of human communities evolve, much faster, maintaining at least a minimum level of adaptedness to the external, non- cultural environment. In the phylogenetic evolution of species, the transmission of information across generations is via copying of molecules, and innovation is by mutation and sexual recombination. In cultural evolution, the transmission of information across generations is by learning, and (...)
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  40. S. Huttegger (2011). Signals: Evolution, Learning and Information * by Brian Skyrms. Analysis 71 (3):597-599.
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  41. Bipin Indurkhya (2003). Word-Sentences and an Interaction-Based Account of Language Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (3):293-293.
    Considerations from an interaction-based approach to the evolution of language and the role of word-sentences therein show that the object-attribute ontology is arrived at a much later stage. Therefore, Hurford's arguments, by focusing on the predicate-argument structure, seem to miss out on most of the interesting aspects of the early stages in language evolution.
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  42. Ray Jackendoff, Depends on Your Theory of Language.
    This paper is more about the questions for a theory of language evolution than about the answers. I’d like to ask what there is for a theory of the evolution of language to explain, and I want to show how this depends on what you think language is.
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  43. Ray Jackendoff (2005). The Nature of the Language Faculty and its Implications for Evolution of Language (Reply to Fitch, Hauser, and Chomsky). Cognition 97 (2):211-225.
    In a continuation of the conversation with Fitch, Chomsky, and Hauser on the evolution of language, we examine their defense of the claim that the uniquely human, language-specific part of the language faculty (the “narrow language faculty”) consists only of recursion, and that this part cannot be considered an adaptation to communication. We argue that their characterization of the narrow language faculty is problematic for many reasons, including its dichotomization of cognitive capacities into those that are utterly unique and those (...)
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  44. Ray Jackendoff (2003). Précis of Foundations of Language: Brain, Meaning, Grammar, Evolution,. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):651-665.
    The goal of this study is to reintegrate the theory of generative grammar into the cognitive sciences. Generative grammar was right to focus on the child's acquisition of language as its central problem, leading to the hypothesis of an innate Universal Grammar. However, generative grammar was mistaken in assuming that the syntactic component is the sole course of combinatoriality, and that everything else is “interpretive.” The proper approach is a parallel architecture, in which phonology, syntax, and semantics are autonomous generative (...)
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  45. Ray Jackendoff (2003). Toward Better Mutual Understanding. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):695-702.
    The commentaries show the wide variety of incommensurable viewpoints on language that Foundations of Language attempts to integrate. In order to achieve a more comprehensive framework that preserves genuine insights coming from all sides, everyone will have to give a little.
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  46. Ray Jackendoff, How Did Language Begin?
    In asking about the origins of human language, we first have to make clear what the question is. The question is not how languages gradually developed over time into the languages of the world today. Rather, it is how the human species developed over time so that we–and not our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos–became capable of using language.
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  47. Ray E. Jennings & Joe J. Thompson (2012). The Biology of Language and the Epigenesis of Recursive Embedding. Interaction Studies 13 (1):80-102.
    Theorists have oversold the usefulness of predicate logic and generative grammar to the study of language origins. They have searched for models that correspond to semantic properties, such as truth, when what is needed is an empirically testable model of evolution. Such a model is required if we are to explain the origins of linguistic properties by appealing to general properties of linguistic engendering, rather than to the advent of genotypes with the propensity to produce certain brain mechanisms. While the (...)
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  48. Mostyn W. Jones, Humans and Persons.
    Traditional ways of characterizing humans and persons are vague and simplistic. For example, persons are often defined as having free will and responsibility – but what actual powers underlie these vague metaphysical abstractions? Traditional answers like "rationality" and "creativity" are still vague, and also simplistic. Similar traits appear as defining traits of humans, yet we’re far too complex to be distinguished from other species in such simple and tight ways. But there may be a looser hallmark of humans that just (...)
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  49. Barbara J. King (2006). Apes, Humans, and M. C. Escher: Uniqueness and Continuity in the Evolution of Language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):289-290.
    Ontogeny, specifically the role of language in the human family now and in prehistory, is central to Locke & Bogin's (L&B's) thesis in a compelling way. The unique life-history stages of childhood and adolescence, however, must be interpreted not only against an exceptionally “high quality” human infancy but also in light of the evolution of co-constructed, emotionally based communication in ape, hominid, and human infancy.
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  50. Marcus Kracht (2007). The Emergence of Syntactic Structure. Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):47 - 95.
    The present paper is the result of a long struggle to understand how the notion of compositionality can be used to motivate the structure of a sentence. While everyone seems to have intuitions about which proposals are compositional and which ones are not, these intuitions generally have no formal basis. What is needed to make such arguments work is a proper understanding of what meanings are and how they can be manipulated. In particular, we need a definition of meaning that (...)
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