The evolution of combinatorial structure in language

  title={The evolution of combinatorial structure in language},
  author={Willem H. Zuidema and Bart de Boer},
  journal={Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences},
1 We will use the term ‘combinatorial’ for any system where parts are combined into larger wholes, and the term ‘compositional’ specifically for the combination of meaning-carrying parts, where the meaning of the whole depends on the meaning of the parts. Human language shows combinatoriality in its phonology (both in speech and in sign language) and its grammar, while both types appear to be absent in the communication systems of our closest evolutionary relatives. In this article, we observe… CONTINUE READING
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