Linguistics and Evolution

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1 Linguistics and Evolution Evolutionary linguistics an approach to language study that takes into account our origins and development as a species has rapidly developed in recent years. Informed by the latest findings in evolutionary theory, this book sets language within the context of human biology and development, taking ideas from fields such as psychology, neurology, biology, anthropology, genetics and cognitive science. By factoring an evolutionary and developmental perspective into the theoretical framework, the author replaces old questions such as what is language? with new questions, such as how do living beings become languaging living beings? Linguistics and Evolution offers readers the first rethinking of an introductory approach to linguistics since Leonard Bloomfield s 1933 Language. It will be of significant interest to advanced students and researchers in all subfields of linguistics, and the related fields of biology, anthropology, cognitive science and psychology. JULIE TETEL ANDRESEN is Associate Professor in the Department of English at Duke University.

2

3 Linguistics and Evolution A Developmental Approach

4 University Printing House, Cambridge CB2 8BS, United Kingdom Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York Cambridge University Press is part of the University of Cambridge. It furthers the University s mission by disseminating knowledge in the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Information on this title: / This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2014 Printing in the United Kingdom by TJ International Ltd. Padstow Cornwall A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data Tetel, Julie, 1950 Linguistics and evolution : a developmental approach /. pages cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN (hardback) ISBN (paperback) 1. Language and languages Origin. 2. Human evolution. 3. Information theory in biology. 4. Anthropological linguistics. I. Title. P116.T dc ISBN Hardback ISBN Paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

5 Contents List of fi gures page vi Introduction: Historiography s contribution to theoretical linguistics 1 Part I Theoretical considerations 9 1 Language languaging 11 2 Developmental systems theory 40 3 A twist in the cognitive turn 68 Part II A developmental systems linguistics Evolutionary scenarios I: the standard story and the self-reproductionist script Evolutionary scenarios II: the emerging story and the self-realizationist script The ontogenic script begins The ontogenic script continues 196 Part III What to do next Revisit: Skinner, Chomsky and construction grammar Revise: introductory linguistics textbooks 260 Bibliography 281 Name index 298 Subject index 303 v

6 Figures 1.1 Saussure s talking heads1 page Part of an epigenetic landscape Interactions underlying the epigenetic landscape The dynamics of the boundary The dynamics of a living being with a nervous system Structural coupling between living beings with nervous systems The natural drift of living beings as distances of complexity with respect to their common origin The flow paradigm for Standard Average European From Course in General Linguistics, by Ferdinand de Saussure, translated by Wade Baskin Columbia University Press. Reprinted with permission of the publisher. 2 From The Strategy of the Genes. A Discussion of Some Aspects of Theoretical Biology, by Conrad Waddington Taylor and Francis. Reproduced by permission of Taylor and Francis Books UK. 3 From The Tree of Knowledge, by Humberto R. Maturana, Ph.D. and Francisco J. Varela, Ph.D Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela. Reprinted by arrangement with The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Shambhala Publications Inc. Boston, MA. www. shambhala.com. vi

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