The evolution of combinatorial structure in language

  title={The evolution of combinatorial structure in language},
  author={W. Zuidema and B. Boer},
  journal={Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences},
  • W. Zuidema, B. Boer
  • Published 2018
  • Computer Science
  • Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
  • 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 that productive combinatoriality is difficult to evolve, because it requires multiple components to be put in place simultaneously for it to function. To understand how it nevertheless evolved in human language, we focus on combinatoriality in phonology… CONTINUE READING


    Publications referenced by this paper.
    The language bioprogram hypothesis.
    • 736
    • Open Access
    The emergence of grammar: systematic structure in a new language.
    • 305
    • Open Access
    The evolution of combinatorial phonology
    • 90
    • Open Access
    Language evolution in the laboratory
    • 163
    • Open Access
    Experimental evidence for compositional syntax in bird calls
    • 89
    • Open Access
    On the antiquity of language: the reinterpretation of Neandertal linguistic capacities and its consequences
    • 170
    • Open Access
    Evolution of language.
    • 700
    • Highly Influential
    Language evolution: syntax before phonology?
    • 72
    • Open Access