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The potential for genetic adaptations to language

  • Mark Pagel (a1) and Quentin D. Atkinson (a2)
Abstract
Abstract

We suggest there is somewhat more potential than Christiansen & Chater (C&C) allow for genetic adaptations specific to language. Our uniquely cooperative social system requires sophisticated language skills. Learning and performance of some culturally transmitted elements in animals is genetically based, and we give examples of features of human language that evolve slowly enough that genetic adaptations to them may arise.

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Q. Atkinson , A. Meade , C. Venditti , S. Greenhill & M. Pagel (2008) Languages evolve in punctuational bursts. Science 319:588.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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