Books about the origins of language

languagesoftware.net - which is the best language course or software - compare

books

Omniglot book store

Language - Origins

The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body

The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body

by Steven Mithen

- along with the concepts of consciousness and intelligence, our capacity for language sits right at the core of what makes us human. But while the evolutionary origins of language have provoked speculation and impassioned debate, music has been neglected if not ignored. Like language it is a universal feature of human culture, one that is a permanent fixture in our daily lives. In The Singing Neanderthal, Steven Mithen redresses the balance, drawing on a huge range of sources, from neurological case studies, through child psychology and the communication systems of non-human primates to the latest paleoarchaeological evidence. The result is a fascinating and provocative work, and a succinct riposte to those, like Steven Pinker, who have dismissed music as a functionless and unimportant evolutionary byproduct.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Language Evolution

Language Evolution

edited by Morten H. Christiansen and Simon Kirby

- a collection of essays on the origins and evolution of language by scholars from a range of fields, including linguistics, archaeology, cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology and biology. Discusses the latest theories and current controveries.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

The Seeds of Speech

The Seeds of Speech

by Jean Aitchinson

- explores the origins of human language and how it evolved, looking for possible precursors to language in animal communication.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

From Lucy to Language

From Lucy to Language

by Donald Johanson

- provides an accessible and up-to-date presentation of the evidence for human evolution: the fossils, artifacts and artwork that paleoanthropologists and archaeologists have discovered and debated during the past century and a half.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

 

The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language

The Power of Babel: A Natural History of Language

by John McWhorter

- explores the ways in which languages change, intertwine and disappear. Explains how a single original language developed into the 6,000 or so languages spoken today. Compares linguistic change to biological evolution.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Approaches to the Evolution of Language

Approaches to the Evolution of Language

by James R. Hurford et al

- examines language from a neo-Darwinian point of view with contributions from linguists, psychologists, and paleoanthropologists.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

The Origin of Language : Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue

The Origin of Language : Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue

by Merritt Ruhlen

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

 

The Atlas of Languages: The Origin and Development of Languages Throughout the World

by Bernard Comrie, Stephen Matthews and Maria Polinsky (Editors)

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

From Hand to Mouth : The Origins of Language

From Hand to Mouth : The Origins of Language

by Michael C. Corballis

- the central theory of this book is that human language started with gestures then later evolved into speech.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language

Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language

by Robin Dunbar

- argues confincingly that language is the human equivalent of grooming in other apes and monkeys, and that it evolved to enable us to cope with larger group sizes. Very interesting.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

The Unfolding of Language: The Evolution of Mankind's greatest Invention

The Unfolding of Language: The Evolution of Mankind's greatest Invention

by Guy Deutscher

- provides fascinating insights into how and why languages change and evolve. It shows how complex inflectional systems can arise, and fall; how forces of destruction can also be forces of creation; how many words started life as metaphors, and many other things.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

The mutation that made us

The mutation that made us

by Susan Lanyon

- the author argues that humans have not evolved gradually since the split from their great ape ancestor. Instead, modern humans emerged suddenly around 120,000 years ago, with a 'below the neck' physiology similar to our hominid ancestor, but with a radically altered skull, face and brain. Adult humans have essentially retained the infant proportions of our immediate ancestor's 'above the neck' morphology. A mutation that radically altered the early developmental pathway of our immediate hominid ancestor has led to the dramatic changes in both anatomy and brain architecture. Modern human cognition and language did not evolved gradually in Darwinian fashion, but emerged suddenly with this mutation. Evidence from Paleontology, Archaeology and Genetics, is garnered to support this theory for the sudden appearance of modern humans.

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

[ other sections ]

Please note

None of the items listed in this bookstore are supplied by Omniglot. When you click on the links here you will be taken to other websites where you can buy the items. If you have any questions about your orders or purchases, please contact the relevant company, not Omniglot.


More To Explore