Language and Species

Derek Bickerton

Language and Species
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Derek Bickerton

305 pages | 16 line drawings | 5-3/4 x 8-7/8 | © 1990
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226046112 Published April 1992
E-book $27.50 ISBN: 9780226220949 Will Publish January 1900
Language and Species presents the most detailed and well-documented scenario to date of the origins of language. Drawing on "living linguistic fossils" such as "ape talk," the "two-word" stage of small children, and pidgin languages, and on recent discoveries in paleoanthropology, Bickerton shows how a primitive "protolanguage" could have offered Homo erectus a novel ecological niche. He goes on to demonstrate how this protolanguage could have developed into the languages we speak today.

"You are drawn into [Bickerton's] appreciation of the dominant role language plays not only in what we say, but in what we think and, therefore, what we are."—Robert Wright, New York Times Book Review

"The evolution of language is a fascinating topic, and Bickerton's Language and Species is the best introduction we have."—John C. Marshall, Nature
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