Words are not costly displays: Shortcomings of a testosterone-fuelled model of language evolution

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (3):290-291 (2006)
Only by misconstruing the term performative are the authors able to argue that males surpass females in “performative applications” of language. Linguistic performatives are not costly displays of quality, and syntax cannot be explained as an outcome of behavioural competition between pubertal males. However, there is room for a model in which language co-evolves with the unique human life-history stage of adolescence.
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X06349060
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