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 . Request PDF on ResearchGate | Language and Species | The abstract for this Article in Language 68(2) · June with 77 Reads Derek Bickerton. Derek Bickerton (March 25, – March 5, ) was an English-born American linguist and academic who was Professor Emeritus at the University of Hawaii in Manoa. Based on his work in creole languages in Guyana and Hawaii, he has In Language and Species (), he suggests that all three questions might be.

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There are three types of learning: Words can not only be converted to strings of other bickeerton, but fall into place within a universal filing system that permits any concept to be retrieved and comprehended. Using primitive communication faculties, which then evolved in parallel, mental models became shared representations subject to cultural evolution.

Much goes on beneath the level of conscious thought that the thinker is unaware of. Few animals face the same set of problems as early humans as few are both social and omnivorous, with such varied feeding habits. Next is conditional response such as a crayfish that becomes habituated to being touches and eventually does not waste energy on an escape manoeuvre, or a grub that only moves if light-levels increase above a certain threshold.

But fear — an emotion — is crucial to making a decision to flee. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In the first phase, from K years ago to 40K years ago, humans were hunter-gatherers confined to Africa.

In Bickerton’s view, these words allowed the formation of concepts rather than mere categories that animals are also capable of. Communication is no more than a handy spinoff. Justin Gregg rated it it was amazing May 04, In Lingua ex Machinahe and William Calvin revise this speculative theory by considering the biological foundations of symbolic representation and their influence on the evolution of the brain. There is accessible I — linked to language and inaccessible I — not linked to language.


Sentences are underlain by three types of structural consistency: Retrieved from ” https: Talking I is a module that forms a part of accessible I, though sometimes other modules grab the microphone. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

First off, we never get a raw, uncensored, completely undistorted, true version of reality.

Bickerton believes second possibility is more parsimonious, as there are objects intermediate between Oldowan and Acheulian, and between Acheulian and subsequent industries. For apes, it appears to be possible only in a limited fashion and all the elements involved need to be physically present.

Which came first — language or concepts? If this was correct, infants would use sign-language assuming ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny ; language must have been vocal from the beginning.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Verbally expressing emotion may have come next, followed by use of proto-language to model internal states of others. The theory of evolution states that features do not arise de novo but must be built incrementally upon something already in existence, but how can something infinite arise from something finite? References to this book Information Visualization: We still receive all our primary information through our senses, but the SRS allowed us to make representations about the things we sensed.

But how did we get from proto-language to full language? Bickerton speculates the need for more complex utterances might have led to the evolution of a syntax system, which served without further modification as an organizer of thought, and that its possessors are capable of thought 3.

Mind, consciousness and the search for knowledge may all arise from having a language-based SRS with a syntax processor. What can and cannot be predicated can be drawn up on a tree diagram.

Language and Species – Derek Bickerton – Google Books

These units could have been used for both language and thought. This site uses cookies. Since the functionality is similar it is more parsimonious to assume the existence of just one rather than two distinct mechanisms. The referent must be an uninterrupted piece of matter or time or space.

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Language & Species (1990), by Derek Bickerton

In language verbs have one, two or three arguments like subprograms. Words are also constrained by contiguity. It also eventually brought a new form of consciousness, self-consciousness.

The only way a gradual process could have happened would have been if the structural principles were at hand, but the lexicon was still limited. Highest recommendation for this language classic. Vervets probably fall somewhere in between and can equate the smell, sound and sight of a leopard with the same thing. Original vocabulary was probably small — phonology may have developed in conjunction with syntax.

But these are agent-plus-actions rather than actions — human language does not conflate an entity and its behaviour into dfrek words; subject-predicate distinction is fundamental as seen earlier.

He is the father of contemporary artist Ashley Bickerton.

By allowing us to model reality offline, so to speak, it encouraged and broadened planning and imagination. It is sspecies to assume that the Acheulian hand-axes required the maker to conceptualise the finished article [the accepted position] but makers could simply copy and possibly modify and improve upon existing axes. Drawing on anr 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 Return to Book Page.

It therefore seems likely that H. There is no plausible intermediate between the two. Words are hierarchical e.