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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: The Evolution of Language
Written By: W. Tecumseh Fitch

Language, more than anything else, is what makes us human. It appears that
no communication system of equivalent power exists elsewhere in the animal
kingdom. Any normal human child will learn a language based on rather
sparse data in the surrounding world, while even the brightest chimpanzee,
exposed to the same environment, will not. Why not? How, and why, did
language evolve in our species and not in others? Since Darwin's theory of
evolution, questions about the origin of language have generated a
rapidly-growing scientific literature, stretched across a number of
disciplines, much of it directed at specialist audiences. The diversity of
perspectives – from linguistics, anthropology, speech science, genetics,
neuroscience and evolutionary biology – can be bewildering. Tecumseh Fitch
cuts through this vast literature, bringing together its most important
insights to explore one of the biggest unsolved puzzles of human history.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
History of Linguistics
Cognitive Science
Anthropological Linguistics
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 052185993X
ISBN-13: 9780521859936
Prices: U.S. $ 120.00
U.K. £ 70.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 052167736X
ISBN-13: 9780521677363
Prices: U.K. £ 29.99
U.S. $ 55.00