The Evolution of Human Language

Scenarios, principles, and cultural dynamics

Wolfgang Wildgen | University of Bremen
ISBN 9789027251930 (Eur) | EUR 90.00
ISBN 9781588115188 (USA) | USD 135.00
ISBN 9789027295453 | EUR 90.00 | USD 135.00
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Wolfgang Wildgen presents three perspectives on the evolution of language as a key element in the evolution of mankind in terms of the development of human symbol use. (1) He approaches this question by constructing possible scenarios in which mechanisms necessary for symbolic behavior could have developed, on the basis of the state of the art in evolutionary anthropology and genetics. (2) Non-linguistic symbolic behavior such as cave art is investigated as an important clue to the developmental background to the origin of language. Creativity and innovation and a population's ability to integrate individual experiments are considered with regard to historical examples of symbolic creativity in the visual arts and natural sciences. (3) Probable linguistic 'fossils' of such linguistic innovations are examined.

The results of this study allow for new proposals for a 'protolanguage' and for a theory of language within a broader philosophical and semiotic framework, and raises interesting questions as to human consciousness, universal grammar, and linguistic methodology. (Series B)

[Advances in Consciousness Research, 57]  2004.  xii, 240 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Cited by

Cited by 20 other publications

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Behme, Christina & S. Hélène Deacon
2008. Language Learning in Infancy: Does the Empirical Evidence Support a Domain Specific Language Acquisition Device?. Philosophical Psychology 21:5  pp. 641 ff. DOI logo
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2014. The Emergence of Modern Communication in Primates: A Computational Approach. In The Evolution of Social Communication in Primates [Interdisciplinary Evolution Research, 1],  pp. 289 ff. DOI logo
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2022. Emotion concepts for representing the vicissitudes of fate in Markus Zusak’s “Bridge of Clay”. Synopsis: Text Context Media 28:1  pp. 14 ff. DOI logo
Gao, J. L., R. T. F. Cheung, Y. S. Chan, L. W. Chu & T. M. C. Lee
2013. Increased prospective memory interference in normal and pathological aging: different roles of motor and verbal processing speed. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition 20:1  pp. 80 ff. DOI logo
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2009. Économie symbolique et phylogenèse du langage. L'Homme :192  pp. 67 ff. DOI logo
Lee-Jahnke, Hannelore
2005. New Cognitive Approaches in Process-Oriented Translation Training. Meta 50:2  pp. 359 ff. DOI logo
Nikolsky, Aleksey
2020. The Pastoral Origin of Semiotically Functional Tonal Organization of Music. Frontiers in Psychology 11 DOI logo
Perotti, J. I., H.‐H. Jo, A. L. Schaigorodsky & O. V. Billoni
2013. Innovation and nested preferential growth in chess playing behavior. EPL (Europhysics Letters) 104:4  pp. 48005 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
1995. Catastrophe theory. In Handbook of Pragmatics,  pp. 95 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2004. Le problème du continu/discontinu dans la sémiophysique de René Thom et l’origine du langage. Cahiers de praxématique :42  pp. 121 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2006. The Dimensionality of Text and Picture and the Cross-Cultural Organization of Semiotic Complexes. In Aspects of Automatic Text Analysis [Studies in Fuzziness and Soft Computing, 209],  pp. 421 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2007. Evolutionary pragmatics. In Handbook of Pragmatics,  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2008. Semiotic Hypercycles Driving the Evolution of Language. Axiomathes 18:1  pp. 91 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2015. The Cultural Individuation of Human Language Capacity and the Morphogenesis of Basic Argument-Schemata. In Morphogenesis and Individuation [Lecture Notes in Morphogenesis, ],  pp. 93 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2020. Structures, Archetypes, and Symbolic Forms. Applied Mathematics in Linguistics and Semiotics. In Structures Mères: Semantics, Mathematics, and Cognitive Science [Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics, 57],  pp. 165 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2022. Catastrophe theory. In Handbook of Pragmatics [Handbook of Pragmatics, ],  pp. 130 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2022. Evolutionary pragmatics. In Handbook of Pragmatics [Handbook of Pragmatics, ],  pp. 542 ff. DOI logo
Wildgen, Wolfgang
2022. The morphogenesis of religion and religious self-organization (with a focus on polytheism and Christianism). Cognitive Semiotics 15:1  pp. 93 ff. DOI logo
Wolfendale, Pete
2019. THE REFORMATTING OF HOMO SAPIENS. Angelaki 24:1  pp. 55 ff. DOI logo

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Subjects & Metadata

Consciousness Research

Consciousness research


Cognitive linguistics


BIC Subject: JMT – States of consciousness
BISAC Subject: PSY020000 – PSYCHOLOGY / Neuropsychology
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004045067 | Marc record