Fwd: Book

From: Phil Chappell (philchappell@mac.com)
Date: Wed Mar 23 2005 - 05:42:37 PST

I meant this to go to the list, even though it adds little.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Phil Chappell <philchappell@mac.com>
> Date: 22 March 2005 11:56:25 AM
> To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu
> Subject: Re: Book
> With questions such as "On the evolution side, a major question is
> how far does ontogeny recapitulate philogeny. In other words, can we
> rely on what we know about language acquisition and theory of mind
> development to surmise what happened when language and theory of mind
> evolved? Can the contribution of studies of animal communication help
> us answer this question?", I certainly agree, Mike.
> Phil
> On Tuesday, March 22, 2005, at 08:34AM, Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Phil-- On my screen the following website comes up along with your
>> note. First time I have seen such a thing-- and, lo and behold, it is
>> very relevant and hopefully interesting.
>> mike
>> http://www.interdisciplines.org/coevolution
>> On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 07:19:25 +0700, Phil Chappell
>> <philchappell@mac.com> wrote:
>>> This book may be of interest to some.
>>> Phil
>>> P.S Sorry I'll miss AERA and the get together - roll on Seville
>>> Title: Origins of Language : Constraints on hypotheses
>>> Written By: Sverker Johansson (University of Jönköping)
>>> URL:
>>> http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=CELCR%205
>>> Series Title: Converging Evidence in Language and Communication
>>> Research 5
>>> Description:
>>> Sverker Johansson has written an unusual book on language origins,
>>> with its emphasis on empirical evidence rather than theory-building.
>>> This is a book for the student or researcher who prefers solid data
>>> and well-supported conclusions over speculative scenarios. Much that
>>> has been written on the origins of language is characterized by
>>> hypothesizing largely unconstrained by evidence. But empirical data
>>> do exist, and the purpose of this book is to integrate and review
>>> the available evidence from all relevant disciplines, not only
>>> linguistics but also, e.g., neurology, primatology,
>>> paleoanthropology, and evolutionary biology. The evidence is then
>>> used to constrain the multitude of scenarios for language origins,
>>> demonstrating that many popular hypotheses are untenable. Among the
>>> issues covered: (1) Human evolutionary history, (2) Anatomical
>>> prerequisites for language, (3) Animal communication and ape
>>> "language", (4) Mind and language, (5) The role of gesture, (6)
>>> Innateness, (7) Selective advantage of language, (8) Proto-language.
>>> Table of contents
>>> Preface p.x
>>> 1. Introduction p. 1 2. What is language? p.5 3. The theory of
>>> evolution p.13 4. Human origins and evolution p.41 5. Anatomical and
>>> neurological prerequisites p.77 6. Animal communication in the wild
>>> p.119 7. Can nonhumans be taught language? p.129 8. Language, mind,
>>> and self p.143 9. Hypotheses of language origins 157 10. Why did
>>> language evolve? p.193 11. Protolanguage 12. Conclusions p.243
>>> References p.248
>>> Index p. 331
>>> "Sverker Johansson offers us an impressive review of current
>>> theories on the origins of language, one of the most stimulating
>>> scientific debates of the nascent century. The book is clear,
>>> clever, exhaustive, and has the rare quality of being faithful to
>>> all the theories it describes. It is essential readings for all
>>> those who want to be part of the fascinating adventure of
>>> understanding the origins of humanity. This is a reference book, not
>>> only for students, but also for researchers in the field, and I will
>>> be digging frequently into this mine of knowledge." Jean-Louis
>>> Dessalles, ParisTech ENST
>>> "Johansson's review of the existing theories of language evolution
>>> is excellent and provides a good introduction to the field. Even
>>> though he does not formulate a theory of his own, I find the
>>> constraints on theories of language evolution that he formulates
>>> very clear-headed and they should certainly serve as benchmarks for
>>> any researcher in the area." Peter Gärdenfors, Professor of
>>> Cognitive Science, Lund University, Sweden
>>> "In total it is a valuable review - currently the most complete in
>>> its breadth and balance of any yet published - and I would consider
>>> using it in an upperdivision course." Terence Deacon

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