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
  • Medicine, 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.
Wild Voices: Mimicry, Reversal, Metaphor, and the Emergence of Language
This model argues that when the authors' ancestors were vulnerable hominins equipped with limited weaponry, they kept predators away by increasing the range and diversity of their vocal calls, which culminated ultimately in gestural, vocal, and ritual metaphor, opening the way to word formation and the rapid emergence of grammar.
A Saltationist Approach for the Evolution of Human Cognition and Language
The debate over the evolution of an innate language capacity seems to divide into two principle camps. The neo-Darwinian approach generally argues that human psychological modules, including the
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
2 Words are the physicians of the mind diseased. INTRODUCTION The question of the origin of modern humans has inspired more scenarios, stories, and research than perhaps any other in biology and the
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


Primate Communication and the Gestural Origin of Language
  • G. Hewes
  • Sociology
    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.
  • D. Laplane
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Behavioural neurology
  • 1992
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
According to Bickerton, the behavioral sciences have failed to give an adequate account of human nature at least partly because of the conjunction and mutual reinforcement of two widespread beliefs:
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
On the evolution of human syntactic ability. Its pre-adaptive Bases—Motor control and speech
The evolution of the particular, species-specific, neural substrate that underlies human syntactic and phonologic ability may be the result of two stages of pre-adaptation involving automatization
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 Human Symbolic Revolution: A Darwinian Account
By 50,000 years ago, the effects of a ‘symbolic explosion’ ‐ an efflorescence of human art, song, dance and ritual ‐ were rippling across the globe. Applied to archaeological evidence, standard