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The Evolution of Language
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Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. The Lay of the Land: 1. Language from a biological perspective; 2. Evolution; 3. Language; 4. Animal cognition and communication; Part II. Meet the Ancestors: 5. Meet the ancestors; 6. The last common ancestor; 7. The hominid fossil record; Part III. The Evolution of Speech: 8. The evolution of the human vocal tract; 9. The evolution of vocal control; 10. Modelling the evolution of speech; Part IV. Phylogenetic Models of Language Evolution: 11. Language evolution before Darwin; 12. Lexical protolanguage; 13. Gestural protolanguage; 14. Musical protolanguage; 15. Conclusions and prospects.

Promotional Information

This book brings together the most important insights from the vast amount of literature on the origin of language.

About the Author

W. Tecumseh Fitch is a Reader in Psychology at the University of St Andrews. He studies the evolution of cognition and communication in animals and man, focusing on the evolution of speech, music and language. He is interested in all aspects of vocal communication in terrestrial vertebrates, particularly vertebrate vocal production in relation to the evolution of speech and music in our own species.

Reviews

'The evolution of language has been described as the hardest problem in science, fraught with conflict, entrenched views, and misunderstandings between the multifarious disciplines involved. Fitch guides us through this tangled and often treacherous domain with clarity, equanimity, and encyclopedic reach. No other book so completely, fairly, and eloquently presents contemporary notions as to how language evolved.' Michael Corballis, University of Auckland
'Reconstructing the evolution of language is a daunting task but Tecumseh Fitch brings it off with style. An impressive synthesis.' Robert Seyfarth, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
'Tecumseh Fitch's book reads like a novel, telling the story of the long and complex search for a theory of language evolution very clearly and engagingly ... comprehensive, analytic, and fair.' Merlin Donald, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
"Reconstructing the evolution of language is a daunting task but Tecumseh Fitch brings it off with style. An impressive synthesis." --Robert Seyfarth, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
"The evolution of language has been described as the hardest problem in science, fraught with conflict, entrenched views, and misunderstandings between the multifarious disciplines involved. Fitch guides us through this tangled and often treacherous domain with clarity, equanimity, and encyclopedic reach. No other book so completely, fairly, and eloquently presents contemporary notions as to how language evolved." --Michael Corballis, University of Auckland

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