Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review “The evolution of language is a fascinating topic, and Bickerton’s Language and Species is the best introduction . Request PDF on ResearchGate | Language and Species | The abstract for this Article in Language 68(2) · June with 77 Reads Derek Bickerton. Derek Bickerton (March 25, – March 5, ) was an English-born American linguist and academic who was Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Based on his work in creole languages in Guyana and Hawaii, he has In Language and Species (), he suggests that all three questions might be.

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Language and proto-language both concatenate units of which they are composed, but language does so in a highly-structured manner with embedded phrases and clauses where as proto-language simply assembles words like beads on a string. The means of acquisition are not the same for both.

Language & Species (1990), by Derek Bickerton

He is the father of contemporary artist Ashley Bickerton. He speculates on the probable origin of protolanguage, likely in Homo erectus, traces the development of grammar, and shows why syntax would have been the last vital step toward modern language, communication, and representation.

But all representations lead to category formation — to form a specles three things are needed: Curiosity about surroundings; recognising and categorizing was adaptive and selected for. Nov 07, Pearse Anderson rated it it was ok Shelves: Sufficient cortical control was probably achieved by the time of Australopithecus afarensis — involuntary calling would have been maladaptive to a species that operated on the savannahs of east Africa. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. He is the originator and main proponent of the language bioprogram hypothesis according to which the similarity of creoles is due to specirs being formed from a prior pidgin by children who all share a universal human innate grammar capacity.


These roles are not given by nature but are high-level abstractions.

Chapter 7 From Protolanguage to Language Proto-language can evolve to true language without an intermediate. Chapter 1 The Continuity Paradox Human and animal behaviour s;ecies by one major distinction that not often appreciated — language. Chapter 2 Language as Representation: We are conscious of learned representations, but cannot access innate representations.

To ask other readers questions about Language and Speciesplease sign up. Words are hierarchical e.

There is no word for cow-grazing, but we would expect there to be if language exactly mirrored reality. Oct 07, Bart Jr. In Lingua ex Machinahe and William Calvin revise this speculative theory by considering the biological foundations of symbolic representation and their influence on the evolution of the brain. I conclude that tigers avoid water and if attacked by one this might offer an escape route. Using primitive communication faculties, which then evolved in parallel, mental models became shared representations subject to cultural evolution.


Derek Bickerton

Probably language originally labelled proto-concepts derived from pre-linguistic experience; this was later expanded to be capable of deriving concepts not present in PRS, e. Carla Dash rated it really liked it Sep 21, Elisa Pesta rated it really liked it Jul 02, In non-human animals, categories might be referred to as proto-concept. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The latter suggests the human organism is indeed divided in some way, and not necessarily the way language suggests it is.

Bickerton was born in Cheshire in Does it represent an earlier form of human language? Why not three or more branches at each node? Some languages to not express all these relations; others express relations not speciess in English. We can only perceive a leopard when one is actually present, but we can think about leopards in their absence.

Language and Species by Derek Bickerton

However provided the referents of particular proto-concepts remained relevant, these would be retained and new ones would be added over evolutionary time. What can and cannot be predicated can be drawn up on a tree diagram. No trivia or quizzes yet.

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