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Author MacNeilage, Peter F.

Title The origin of speech / Peter F. MacNeilage
Published Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, [2008]


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xi, 389 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Series Studies in the evolution of language ; no. 10
Studies in the evolution of language ; 10
Studies in the evolution of language ; 10
Studies in the evolution of language ; no. 10
Contents Pt. I. Introduction -- 1. Background: the intellectual context -- 2. Getting to the explanation of speech -- Pt. II. Speech and its origin: the frame/content theory -- 3. The nature of modern hominid speech -- 4. Speech in deep time: how speech got started -- Pt. III. The relation between ontogeny and phylogeny -- 5. Ontogeny and phylogeny 1: the frame stage -- 6. Ontogeny and phylogeny 2: the frame/content stage -- 7. The origin of words: how frame-stage patterns acquired meanings -- Pt. IV. Brain organization and the evolution of speech -- 8. Evolution of brain organization for speech: background -- 9. A dual brain system for the frame/content mode -- 10. Evolution of cerebral hemispheric specialization for speech -- Pt. V. The frame/content theory and generative linguistics -- 11. Generative phonology and the origin of speech -- 12. Generative phonology and the acquisition of speech -- Pt. VI. A perspective on speech from manual evolution
13. An amodal phonology? Implications of the existence of sign language -- Pt. VII. Last things -- 14. Ultimate causes of speech: genes and memes -- 15. Conclusions
Summary "This book explores the origin and evolution of speech. The human speech system is in a league of its own in the animal kingdom and its possession dwarfs most other evolutionary achievements. During every second of speech we unconsciously use about 225 distinct muscle actions. To investigate the evolutionary origins of this prodigious ability, Peter MacNeilage draws on work in linguistics, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and animal behavior. He puts forward a neo-Darwinian account of speech as a process of descent in which ancestral vocal capabilities became modified in response to natural selection pressures for more efficient communication. His proposals include the crucial observation that present-day infants learning to produce speech reveal constraints that were acting on our ancestors as they invented new words long ago."--BOOK JACKET
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [335]-364) and index
Subject Language and languages -- Origin.
LC no. 2007047376
ISBN 9780199236503