Why only us? Language and evolution by Robert C. Berwick and Noam Chomsky (review)

  title={Why only us? Language and evolution by Robert C. Berwick and Noam Chomsky (review)},
  author={Ljiljana Progovac},
  pages={992 - 996}
Natural/sexual selection: What’s language (evolution) got to do with it?
Abstract By considering a specific scenario of early language evolution, here I advocate taking into account one of the most obvious players in the evolution of human language capacity: (sexual)
Sudden (Saltationist) Approaches to Language Evolution
Many researchers have advocated an abrupt, saltationist view of language evolution, including, but not limited to: Berwick (1998), Bickerton (1990, 1998), Lightfoot (1991), Chomsky (2002, 2005),
A Gradualist Scenario for Language Evolution: Precise Linguistic Reconstruction of Early Human (and Neandertal) Grammars
It is proposed that hierarchical syntax did not emerge once and uniformly in all its complexity, but rather multiple times, either within Africa, or after dispersion from Africa, and under the uniregional hypothesis, the authors' common ancestor with Neandertals could not have commanded hierarchical syntax, but “only” the proto-grammar.


The evolution of language out of pre-language
1. Introduction (by Givon, T.) 2. Part 1. Language and the brain 3. 1. The visual information-processing system as an evolutionaryprecursor of human language (by Givon, T.) 4. 2. Embodied meaning: An
On Nature and Language
In this new and outstanding book Noam Chomsky develops his thinking on the relation between language, mind, and brain, integrating current research in linguistics into the burgeoning field of
Ancestors in Our Genome: The New Science of Human Evolution
This chapter discusses the molecular Quest for The authors' Nearest Primate Relative, the Great Divorce, and Kissing Cousins: Clues from Ancient Genomes.
Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach
Preface i1 Core Concepts 11.1.2 Acceptability, grammaticality and stars, and back to Sentences .
CNTNAP2 and Language Processing in Healthy Individuals as Measured with ERPs
While both AA homozygotes and T-carriers showed a standard N400 effect to semantic anomalies, the response to subject-verb agreement violations differed across genotype groups, suggesting the neuronal architecture of the human faculty of language is shaped differently by effects that are genetically determined.
Neanderthal language? Just-so stories take center stage
Claims that humans and Neanderthals were one and the same species and speech and language are ancient are marred by their selective review of the literature; the use of equivocal evidence as definitive support for their interpretation; and the lack of any evolutionary evidence regarding the computations and representations that mediate modern linguistic competence.
On the antiquity of language: the reinterpretation of Neandertal linguistic capacities and its consequences
It is argued here that recognizably modern language is likely an ancient feature of the authors' genus pre-dating at least the common ancestor of modern humans and Neandertals about half a million years ago, and argues against a saltationist scenario for the evolution of language, and toward a gradual process of culture-gene co-evolution extending to the present day.
Linguistic tone is related to the population frequency of the adaptive haplogroups of two brain size genes, ASPM and Microcephalin
  • D. Dediu, D. Ladd
  • Linguistics
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2007
It is hypothesized that there is a relationship between the population frequency of these two alleles and the presence of linguistic tone and test this hypothesis relative to a large database, showing that it is not due to the usual explanatory factors represented by geography and history.
Three Factors in Language Design
The biolinguistic perspective regards the language faculty as an organ of the body, along with other cognitive systems. Adopting it, we expect to find three factors that interact to determine (I-)