Language evolution as cultural evolution : how language is shaped by the brain
Chater, Nick and Christiansen, Morten H.. (2010) Language evolution as cultural evolution : how language is shaped by the brain. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, Vol.1 (No.5). pp. 623-628. ISSN 1939-5078Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/wcs.85
This paper reviews arguments against the evolutionary plausibility of a traditional genetically specified universal grammar. We argue that no such universal grammar could have evolved, either by a process of natural selection or by other evolutionary mechanisms. Instead, we propose that the close fit between languages and language learners, which make language acquisition possible, arises not because humans possess a specialized biological adaptation for language, but because language has been shaped to fit the brain, a process of cultural evolution. On this account, many aspects of the structure of human languages may be explained as cultural adaptations to the human brain. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School > Behavioural Science
Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School
|Journal or Publication Title:||Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science|
|Publisher:||John Wiley & Sons Ltd.|
|Official Date:||September 2010|
|Number of Pages:||6|
|Page Range:||pp. 623-628|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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