Play as Precursor of Phonology and Syntax

  title={Play as Precursor of Phonology and Syntax},
  author={Chris Knight},
The theme of language as play suggests inquiries into non-cognitive uses of language such as that found in riddles, jingles, or tongue twisters — and beyond this into the poetic and ritual function of language, as well as into parallels between language and ritual, language and music, and language and dance. It also provides an explanation for the obvious fact that so much in language is non-optimal for purposes of communicating cognitive information. Morris Halle (1975: 528) Primate… 

The nature of grammar, its role in language and its evolutionary origins

In this dissertation, the continuity of language with other forms of signalling is reviewed and the structure and process of grammar are looked at, showing that the ability to model others is probably quite ancient, while the able to model the self can only come about in a cooperative linguistic environment.

Sexual selection for syntax and kin selection for semantics: problems and prospects

The evolution of human language, and the kind of thought the communication of which requires it, raises considerable explanatory challenges. These systems of representation constitute a radical

From mouth to hand: Gesture, speech, and the evolution of right-handedness

  • M. Corballis
  • Biology, Psychology
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • 2003
It is argued that language evolved from manual gestures, gradually incorporating vocal elements, and may be traced through changes in the function of Broca's area, the code for both the production of manual reaching movements and the perception of the same movements performed by others.

A Saltationist Approach for the Evolution of Human Cognition and Language

It is argued that hominins evolved through major evolutionary leaps, which may have numbered only two or three significant mutation ``events", and further evidence from the fossil and archaeological record supports a ``sudden" emergence of human cognition and language.

Sobre la relación entre el lenguaje y la comunicación animal

The work at hand critically analyzes this strong continuism and offers arguments which point to its infeasibility, suggesting that the available evidence does not allow one to go beyond a weak continuism, limited to some general abilities of the vocal and conceptual type.

Mediating between the Humanities and the Sciences: Gadamer on the Inner Voice

Gadamer is alleged to have conflated knowledge with private languages, which in turn entails adopting anti-thetical attitudes toward inter-subjectively verifiable facts produced by the natural

Language unbound: genomic conflict and psychosis in the origin of modern humans

The goal here is to understand how human language and communication have evolved by analyzing how these adaptive systems can be perturbed, and to apply the comparative method to a new form of diversity: autistic and psychotic-affective spectrum conditions, the main generalized 'mutations' of human sociality and language.

The Evolutionary Emergence of Language

Language has no counterpart in the animal world. Unique to Homo sapiens, it appears inseparable from human nature. But how, when and why did it emerge? The contributors to this volume – linguists,

Darwinian Explanations of the Origin of Language Since the publication 150 years ago of the Origin of Species, Darwin’s work has invaded many branches of science. However, those invasions remain a field of hefty debate. This

Language co-evolved with the rule of law

Many scholars assume a connection between the evolution of language and that of distinctively human group-level morality. Unfortunately, such thinkers frequently downplay a central implication of



Primate Communication and the Gestural Origin of Language

  • G. Hewes
  • Psychology
    Current Anthropology
  • 1992
Wallace, Tylor, Wundt, Johannesson, and others have proposed that human language had its basis in hand and arm gestures. The Gardners' work with the chimpanzee Washoe, Premack's study of the

Thought and language.

From aphasics' self records, common experience, changes in signification of sentences according to a verbal or non-verbal context, animals and non speaking children performances, it seems possible to

Hand and Mind: What Gestures Reveal About Thought.

The argument of this original and difficult book is that “gestures are an integral part of language as much as are words, phrases and sentences-gestures and language are one system” (p. 2) . Gestures

Thought and language

Since it was introduced to the English-speaking world in 1962, Lev Vygotsky's highly original exploration of human mental development has become recognized as a classic foundational work of cognitive

Language and Human Behavior

The author stresses the necessity of viewing intelligence in evolutionary terms, seeing it not as problem solving but as a way of maintaining homeostasis - the preservation of those conditions most favorable to an organism, the optimal achievable conditions for survival and well-being.

The evolutionary emergence of language : social function and the origins of linguistic form

Part I. The Evolution of Cooperative Communication: 1. Introduction: the evolution of cooperative communication Chris Knight 2. Comprehension, production and conventionalization in the origins of

Pretense and representation: The origins of "theory of mind."

One of the major developments of the second year of human life is the emergence of the ability to pretend. A child's knowledge of a real situation is apparently contradicted and distorted by

5 Ritual/speech coevolution: a solution to the problem of deception

Darwinism is setting a new research agenda across the related fields of palaeoanthropology, evolutionary psychology and theoretical linguistics (Dunbar 1993; Hurford 1989, 1992; Pinker & Bloom 1990;

The Handicap Principle: A Missing Piece of Darwin's Puzzle

The authors convincingly demonstrate that when an animal acts altruistically, it handicaps itself-assumes a risk or endures a sacrifice-not primarily to benefit its kin or social group but to increase its own prestige within the group and thus signal its status as a partner or rival.