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Language Evolution and Syntactic Theory

CAD$119.95 (C)

Part of Approaches to the Evolution of Language

  • Date Published: August 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521895309

CAD$ 119.95 (C)
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  • Evolution has not typically been recognised by linguists as a constraining factor when developing linguistic theories. This book demonstrates that our theories of language must reflect the fact that language has evolved. It critiques a currently dominant framework in the field of linguistics - the Minimalist Program - by showing how it fails to take evolution into account. It approaches the question of the evolution of human language in a novel way by applying findings from the field of evolutionary biology to language. Key properties associated with typically evolving systems are identified in language, and the shortcomings of the Minimalist Program in its outright rejection of these features are exposed. The book will be of interest to individual researchers and advanced students in linguistics, psychology, biology, anthropology and cognitive science.

    • Unites the findings of two fields not usually integrated - linguistics and biology - and shows how interdisciplinary work is necessary
    • Draws the focus of linguists to the importance of evolutionary considerations on linguistic theorising
    • Highlights the failings of the central theses of a currently dominant syntactic framework - the Minimalist Program - using the constraint of evolution
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521895309
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Constraining our theory of language
    2. Language as a perfect system
    3. Language as an evolvable system
    4. Language as a recursive system
    5. Language as a minimal system
    6. Towards an evolvable theory of syntax.

  • Author

    Anna R. Kinsella, University of Edinburgh
    Anna R. Kinsella is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Language Evolution & Computation Research Unit in the Department of Linguistics & English Language at the University of Edinburgh.

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