21.3248, Books: Sociolinguistics: Distin

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LINGUIST List: Vol-21-3248. Wed Aug 11 2010. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 21.3248, Books: Sociolinguistics: Distin

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1)
Date: 11-Aug-2010
From: Daniel Davies < ddavies at cambridge.org >
Subject: Cultural Evolution: Distin
 

	
-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 16:29:59
From: Daniel Davies [ddavies at cambridge.org]
Subject: Cultural Evolution: Distin

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Title: Cultural Evolution 
Publication Year: 2010 
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
	   http://us.cambridge.org
	

Book URL: http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780511784255 


Author: Kate Distin

Electronic: ISBN:  9780511784255 Pages: 280 Price: U.S. $ 22.00
Hardback: ISBN:  9780521769013 Pages: 280 Price: U.K. £ 55.00
Paperback: ISBN:  9780521189712 Pages: 280 Price: U.K. £ 17.99


Abstract:

In this book, Kate Distin proposes a theory of cultural evolution and shows 
how it can help us to understand the origin and development of human 
culture. Distin introduces the concept that humans share information not only 
in natural languages, which are spoken or signed, but also in artefactual 
languages like writing and musical notation, which use media that are made 
by humans. Languages enable humans to receive and transmit variations in 
cultural information and resources. In this way, they provide the mechanism 
for cultural evolution. The human capacity for metarepresentation - thinking 
about how we think - accelerates cultural evolution, because it frees cultural 
information from the conceptual limitations of each individual language. Distin 
shows how the concept of cultural evolution outlined in this book can help us 
to understand the complexity and diversity of human culture, relating her 
theory to a range of subjects including economics, linguistics, and 
developmental biology.

- Explains the origin of culture as the product of both natural and artefactual 
languages 
- Introduces a powerful new conceptual tool, namely the distinction 
between natural and artefactual languages 
- Presents evidence, from a range of academic disciplines, that cultural 
evolution is a defensible theory with genuine explanatory value 



Contents

1. Introduction: small consequences of one general law; 
Part I. The Inheritance of Cultural Information: 
2. What is information?; 
3. How is information inherited?; 
Part II. The Inheritance of Cultural Information: Natural Language: 
4. Natural language and culture: the biological building blocks; 
5. How did natural language evolve? Language, thought, and culture; 
Part III. In Inheritance of Cultural Information: Artefactual Language: 
7. How did artefactual language evolve?; 
8. Artefactual language, representation and culture; 
9. Money: an artefactual language; 
10. Money: the explanatory power of artefactual languages; 
Part III. The Receivers of Cultural Information: 
11. How does human diversity affect cultural evolution?; 
Part IV. The Expression of Cultural Information: 
12. Aspects of the cultural ecology; 
13. Patterns of cultural taxonomy; 
14. Conclusion: a representational understanding of cultural evolution; 
Appendix: what about memetics? 


Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics


Written In: English  (eng)
	
See this book announcement on our website: 
http://linguistlist.org/pubs/books/get-book.cfm?BookID=49781


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	Brill          
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	Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd          
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OTHER SUPPORTING PUBLISHERS	

	Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics
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	International Pragmatics Assoc.
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