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Universal grammar and semiotic constraints

PDF: Semiotics&UG_MS_Deacon

Posted in Language Origins

On The Human: Rethinking The Natural Selection Of Human Language

PDF: On the Human NHC

Posted in Language Origins

A Role for Relaxed Selection in the Evolution of the Language Capacity

Abstract: Explaining the extravagant complexity of the human language and our competence to acquire it has long posed challenges for natural selection theory. To answer his critics, Darwin turned to sexual selection o account for the extreme development of language. Many contemporary evolutionary theorists

Posted in Language Origins

Multilevel selection in a complex adaptive system: The problem of language origins

In B Weber & D Depew (eds.) Evolution and Learning: The Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. MIT Press, 2003. PDF: Deacon_Multilevel selection

Posted in Language Origins

Relaxed Selection and the Role of Epigenesis in the Evolution of Language

Abstract: It is generally assumed that there is a positive correlation between the complexity of functional adaptive systems and the intensity and duration of natural selection driving their evolution. Although the role of selection is unquestionable, especially with respect to functional correspondences between organism

Posted in Language Origins

The Evolution of Language Systems in the Human Brain

Abstract: The investigation of the neural basis and evolution of language abilities is best pursued as a search for language adaptations rather than as a search for the language faculty. The species uniqueness of language functions is contrasted with the conserved homologies linking

Posted in Language Origins

Beyond the Symbolic Species

Abstract: Confusions about the nature of symbolic reference are at the core of two major challenges to understanding human language. A failure to take into account the complex iconic and indexical infrastructure of symbolic interpretation processes has blocked progress in the study

Posted in Language Origins