Communication : where evolutionary linguistics went wrong
(Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Departament de Filologia Catalana)
Lorenzo González, Guillermo
||In this article we offer a detailed assessment of current approaches to the origins of language, with a special focus on their historical and theoretical underpinnings. It is a widely accepted view within evolutionary linguistics that an account of the emergence of human language necessarily involves paying special attention to its communicative function and its relation to other animal communication systems. Ever since Darwin, some variant of this view has constituted the mainstream version in evolutionary linguistics; however, it is our contention in this article that this approach is seriously flawed, and that “animal communication” does not constitute a natural kind on which a sound theoretical model can be built. As a consequence, we argue that this communicative perspective is better abandoned in favor of a structural/formal approach based on the notion of homology, and that some interesting and unexpected similarities may be found by applying this venerable comparative method founded in the 19th century by Richard Owen.
||Tots els drets reservats.
||article ; recerca ; publishedVersion ; acceptedVersion
Evolution of language ;
Functions of organic structures ;
||Biological theory, Vol. 5, Num. 3 (2010) , p. 228-239, ISSN 1555-5542
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