[EDLING:1018] RE: Origin of language

Martin Edwardes martin.edwardes at BTOPENWORLD.COM
Fri Sep 30 17:55:50 UTC 2005

Tomasello is good, but he's more a primate researcher than a linguist
(although a damn fine language origins specialist either way).

For specifically linguistic approaches, try Ewa Dabrowska, "Language, Mind
and Brain"; Guy Cook, "Language Play, Language Learning"; Geoffrey Sampson,
"The Language Instinct Debate"; or Ray Cattell, "Children's Language:
consensus and controversy".

Edited volumes are a good source of linguistic approaches to language
evolution. Try Brian MacWhinney, "The Emergence of Language"; James Hurford,
Michael Studdert-Kennedy & Chris Knight, "Approaches to the Evolution of
Language"; Chris Knight, Michael Studdert-Kennedy & James Hurford, "The
Evolutionary Emergence of Language"; Alison Wray, "The Transition to
Language"; or Morten Christiansen & Simon Kirby, "Language Evolution".

These is only a short personal list, others will be able to add many other
readings - there are a lot of linguists working on the subject!

Martin Edwardes

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
[mailto:owner-edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu] On Behalf Of Kent Hill
Sent: 30 September 2005 13:28
To: edling at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Subject: [EDLING:1016] RE: Origin of language

That is the thesis of my book "The Child's Secret of Learning" published
last month.  Do you know of any professional linguists who are exploring
similar avenues?

Dear Gerald

I would suggest Tomasello (2003) 'Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based
Theory of Language Acquisition'. He suggests that SVO (and language use)
stems from our unique capacity for joint attention on an object. This seems
to be related to your thesis.

Best wishes,

Kent Hill

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