Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Evolutionary Emergence of LanguageEvidence and Inference$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rudolf Botha and Martin Everaert

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654840.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Kin selection, pedagogy, and linguistic complexity: whence protolanguage?

Kin selection, pedagogy, and linguistic complexity: whence protolanguage?

(p.77) 5 Kin selection, pedagogy, and linguistic complexity: whence protolanguage?
The Evolutionary Emergence of Language

Maggie Tallerman

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates recent proposals that a kin-selected communication system was adaptive in human evolution, and that in turn, interactions between closely-related individuals, particularly mothers and infants, drove the evolution of (proto)language. It argues that a proposed link between kin communication, teaching, and linguistic complexity is very weak; and that altruism is not characteristic of language use. The chapter is organized as follows. Section 5.2 examines the idea that protolanguage evolved for pedagogical purposes vital to a child's survival. Section 5.3 considers the proposed evolution of linguistic complexity out of either infant or maternal vocalizations. Section 5.4 questions the idea that language equates to altruistic information exchange. Section 5.5 concludes that a kin selection scenario has no explanatory power in investigations of the evolution of language.

Keywords:   kin selection, communication system, language evolution, protolanguage, altruism, language use

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .