The volume contains a selection of papers read at recent meetings of the Language Origins Society. The papers address the problem of the origins and evolution of language both as a biological capacity and as a symbol system. The discussions of these issues include approaches from such various fields as biology, ethology, linguistics, philosophy, primatology and psychology. The book is divided into three parts according to the main perspectives taken by the contributors. Part I addresses the relationship between evolution and language and deals with the problem of language origins specifically from various aspects within the framework of human evolution. Part II deals with the question of language structure and function as shaped by evolution. Part III discusses the views of three famous philosophers on language and how these views can be utilized in explanations of language origins.
Frankfurt/M., Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2001. 275 pp., 2 fig., 1 table
Contents: Evolutionary biological aspects of language origins: hominid evolution, forms of selection, the effect of
encephalization, etc. – Problems of the evolution of communication and cognition – Possible origins of linguistic structure
and function from linguistic and philosophical perspectives.