The Evolution of Human Language: Scenarios, principles, and cultural dynamics (Advances in Consciousness Research)

The Evolution of Human Language: Scenarios, principles, and cultural dynamics (Advances in Consciousness Research)

Wolfgang Wildgen

Language: English

Pages: 252

ISBN: 1588115186

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Wolfgang Wildgen presents three perspectives on the evolution of language as a key element in the evolution of mankind in terms of the development of human symbol use. (1) He approaches this question by constructing possible scenarios in which mechanisms necessary for symbolic behavior could have developed, on the basis of the state of the art in evolutionary anthropology and genetics. (2) Non-linguistic symbolic behavior such as cave art is investigated as an important clue to the developmental background to the origin of language. Creativity and innovation and a population's ability to integrate individual experiments are considered with regard to historical examples of symbolic creativity in the visual arts and natural sciences. (3) Probable linguistic 'fossils' of such linguistic innovations are examined. The results of this study allow for new proposals for a 'protolanguage' and for a theory of language within a broader philosophical and semiotic framework, and raises interesting questions as to human consciousness, universal grammar, and linguistic methodology. (Series B)

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after the rise of agriculture, a wealth of engravings is found in which humans occupy the central place. The arrow had been invented and chasing (probably also warfare) had been sophisticated. The individual huntsman or the group of hunters and the animal (sometimes the enemy) are the major topics. The scenes are very dynamic as they show people and animals running, attacking, fleeing. In many cases, there is a basic relation, e.g., a huntsman shoots at an attacking ibex, four huntsmen with a

lions. In another painting more than four legs are visible in a bison (7 or 8), which could represent very quick movement (it is facing a lion, cf. Chauvet et al. 1995: 76f.). Many animals form groups or herds in motion. The juxtaposition of animals of prey and predators, e.g., horses and lions may evoke a chase and if the animals stand for humans (as prey and predators), a chase or battle scene may be inferred. The periods, in which the paintings were made, span an extremely Figure 5.7 A group

gestures, we can further reduce all four groups of apostles into two plus one (center). The central person neutralizes the movement issuing from Jesus and thus brings it to rest, the natural locus of movements in Aristotle’s physics. It is as if the impact of the utterance had dynamically shaped the four groups and their subgroups. Dynamically, Judas is clearly separated from the Symbolic creativity in language, art, and science and cultural dynamics other apostles, he seems to be lost for any

feature which marks the deferred reference typical for language, which can easily refer to entities which are not present in the context and must be imagined. The concentration on relevant features and the radical economy in the construction is typical for the lexicon of natural languages and in the syntactic constructions used in utterances. In a sense, Turner, like Leonardo, realizes a technique of symbolic creation in the realm of art, which was brought about in the evolution of language,

the correlation only for the neo-cortex a similar progression is shown (cf. Dunbar 1997: 78). If one compares the absolute cranial capacities of five fossil hominid species and modern humans, a large amount of overlap between Homo erectus, Homo   Chapter 2 Homo sapiens apes monkeys log E brain weight base line of insectivores log P body weight Figure 2.1 The relation between body weight and brain weight (adapted and translated from Changeux 1984: 59) 2000 Cranial capacity 1800

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