Readership: Anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, primatologists, psychologists, biologists, cognitive scientists, and educated general readers.
Edited by Morten H. Christiansen, Cornell University, and Simon Kirby, Edinburgh University
"Some time since we and the chimpanzees went our separate evolutionary ways, probably towards the very end of that 6 million year period, an innovation occurred whose only precedent was arguably the DNA code itself. Language arose in our ancestors, and there had been nothing like it. Of course other species communicate, many of them vocally, but none of this comes close to the open-ended, generative capacity, the huge vocabulary, the nuanced subtlety, the permanent recordability of language. As an outsider, it is with real fascination that I have read this compendium. One of the merits of any book is its capacity to stimulate the reader to think beyond
its confines. This, and other merits are possessed by Language Evolution in abundance." - Richard Dawkins
"This book offers the current states of the art on the subject of language evolution, covering just about every scientific discipline that has a stake in answering the questions it raises." - Pragmatics
"Language Evolution is a brave attempt at a state-of-the-art survey of language origin research at the beginning of the millennium." - Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, Science
"The evolutionary origins of language should intrigue anyone interested in the relationship of humans to other species. For them, Language
Evolution will provide a useful starting point." - Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, Science
"In the beginning there was no language. Now there is. Language Evolution describes the passage as a wonderful voyage of discovery." - Nurturing Potential
1: Morten H. Christiansen & Simon Kirby: Language Evolution: The Hardest Problem in Science?
2: Steven Pinker: Language as an Adaptation to the Cognitive Niche
3: James Hurford: The Language Mosaic and its Evolution
4: Frederick J. Newmeyer: What can the Field of Linguistics Tell Us About the Origins of Language?
5: Derek Bickerton: Symbol and Structure: A Comprehensive Framework for Language Evolution
6: Michael Tomasello: On the Different Origins of Symbols and Grammar
7: Terrence W. Deacon: Universal Grammar and Semiotic Constraints
8: Iain Davidson: The Archaeological Evidence of Language Origins: States of the Art
9: Marc D. Hauser & W. Tecumseh Fitch: What are the Uniquely Human Components of the Language Faculty?
10: Michael A. Arbib: The Evolving Mirror System: A Neural Basis for Language Readiness
11: Michael C. Corballis: From Hand to Mouth: the Gestural Origins of Language
12: Robin I. M. Dunbar: The Origin and Subsequent Evolution of Language
13: Michael Studdert-Kennedy & Louis Goldstein: Launching Language: the Gestural Origin of Discrete Infinity
14: Philip Lieberman: Motor Control, Speech, and the Evolution of Human Language
15: Simon Kirby & Morten H. Christiansen: From Language Learning to Language Evolution
16: Ted Briscoe: Grammatical Assimilation
17: Natalia L. Komarova & Martin A. Nowak: Language, Learning, and Evolution