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The Prehistory of Language - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Prehistory of Language

Rudolf Botha and Chris Knight


‘When, why, and how did language evolve?’ ‘Why do only humans have language?’ This book looks at these and other questions about the origins and evolution of language. It does so via a diversity of perspectives, including social, cultural, archaeological, palaeoanthropological, musicological, anatomical, neurobiological, primatological, and linguistic. Among the subjects it considers are: how far sociality is a prerequisite for language; the evolutionary links between language and music; the relation between natural selection and niche construction; the origins of the lexicon; the role of soci ... More

Keywords: prehistory, evolution of language, humans, sociality, music, natural selection, niche construction, lexicon, social play, language development

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199545872
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Rudolf Botha, editor
University of Stellenbosch

Chris Knight, editor
University of East London
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