Re: language acquisition and tool use

From: Esther Goody (
Date: Thu Apr 08 2004 - 05:25:10 PDT

David - Re language acquisition and tool use.

One of my long-term obsessions has been: 'What has been the dynamic between
the emergence of
spoken language and the emergence of hominid sociocultural cognition'?
Various early papers usde detailed

I spent a year at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (1989-90) reading up on
ethology, 'language origins' and sociolinguistics. In the spring the Kolleg
let me organise a workshop around the topic of the
emergence of social intelligence. As a result of all this reading I
developed the view that AIP

The evolutionary ethologists have looked at feeding patterns,
right-handedness, and particularly what they term 'Machiavellian
Intelligence'. This last is the thesis that apes got progressively smarter
as they learned to anticipate responses to others goal-oriented actions.
Each ape is trying to outwit other apes, to reach his own goals. Hence this
is 'Machiavellian' intelligence. This cognitively modelling of other apes
responses eventually led to homind intelligence. Th book "Machiavellian
Intelligence" appeared in 1988.

it is about spoken language that Homo sapiens

----- Original Message -----
From: <>
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Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2004 4:49 AM
Subject: language acquisition and tool use


In 1991 Patricia Greenfield published a wonderful paper in Behavioral
and Brain Sciences on language acquisition and tool use. The paper
suggested that language acquisition and tool use followed similar
developmental paths and engaged similar cortical areas. I was
wondering whether any of you know of recent research that has followed
up that paper.


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