LINGUIST List 16.528

Tue Feb 22 2005

Books: Anthro Ling/Cog Sci/Lang Acq: Oller, Griebel (Eds)

Editor for this issue: Megan Zdrojkowski <>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.


        1.    David Weininger, The Evolution of Communication Systems: Oller, Griebel (Eds)

Message 1: The Evolution of Communication Systems: Oller, Griebel (Eds)

Date: 16-Feb-2005
From: David Weininger <>
Subject: The Evolution of Communication Systems: Oller, Griebel (Eds)

Title: The Evolution of Communication Systems
Subtitle: A Comparative Approach
Series Title: The Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology
Published: 2004
Publisher: MIT Press

Book URL:

Editor: D. Kimbrough Oller, University of Memphis
Editor: Ulrike Griebel, University of Memphis
Hardback: ISBN: 0262151111 Pages: 352 Price: U.S. $ 45

The search for origins of communication in a wide variety of species
including humans is rapidly becoming a thoroughly interdisciplinary
enterprise. In this volume, scientists engaged in the fields of
evolutionary biology, linguistics, animal behavior, developmental
psychology, philosophy, the cognitive sciences, robotics, and neural
network modeling come together to explore a comparative approach to the
evolution of communication systems. The comparisons range from parrot talk
to squid skin displays, from human language to Aibo the robot dog's
language learning, and from monkey babbling to the newborn human infant
cry. The authors explore the mysterious circumstances surrounding the
emergence of human language, which they propose to be intricately connected
with drastic changes in human life style. While it is not yet clear what
the physical environmental circumstances were that fostered social changes
in the hominid line, the volume offers converging evidence and theory from
several lines of research suggesting that language depended upon the
restructuring of ancient human social groups.

The volume also offers new theoretical treatments of both primitive
communication systems and human language, providing new perspectives on how
to recognize both their similarities and their differences. Explorations of
new technologies in robotics, neural network modeling and pattern
recognition offer many opportunities to simulate and evaluate theoretical

The North American and European scientists who have contributed to this
volume represent a vanguard of thinking about how humanity came to have the
capacity for language and how non-humans provide a background of remarkable
capabilities that help clarify the foundations of speech.

Michael A. Arbib, Morten H. Christiansen, Rick Dale, Robin I. M. Dunbar,
William Tecumseh Sherman Fitch, Peter Gärdenfors, Ulrike Griebel, William
F. Harms, James Hurford, Magnus S. Magnusson, Jennifer Mather, Ruth Garrett
Millikan, D. Kimbrough Oller, Donald H. Owings, Irene Pepperberg, Chris
Sinha, Charles Snowdon, Luc Steels, Debra M. Zeifman.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics
                            Cognitive Science
                            Language Acquisition

Written In: English (ENG )

See this book announcement on our website:

-------------------------- Major Supporters --------------------------
Cascadilla Press
Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd
Edinburgh University Press
Elsevier Ltd.
Hodder Arnold
John Benjamins
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
MIT Press
Mouton de Gruyter

---------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ----------------------
Graduate Linguistic Students' Assoc., Umass
Kingston Press Ltd
Multilingual Matters
Pacific Linguistics
SIL International
Utrecht Institute of Linguistics / LOT Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistic


Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue