Michael A. Arbib | Computer Science, Neuroscience and USC Brain Project, University of Southern California
We distinguish “language readiness” (biological) from “having language” (cultural) and outline a hypothesis for the evolution of the language-ready brain and language involving seven stages: S1: grasping; S2: a mirror system for grasping; S3: a simple imitation system for grasping, shared with the common ancestor of human and chimpanzee; S4: a complex imitation system for grasping; S5: protosign, breaking through the fixed repertoire of primate vocalizations to yield an open repertoire for communication; S6: protospeech, the open-ended production and perception of sequences of vocal gestures, without these sequences constituting a full language; and S7: a process of cultural evolution in Homo sapiens yielding full human languages. The present paper will examine the subhypothesis that protosign (S5) formed a scaffolding for protospeech (S6), but that the two interacted with each other in supporting the evolution of brain and body that made Homo sapiens “language-ready”.
2020. Emergent Jaw Predominance in Vocal Development Through Stochastic Optimization. IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems 12:3 ► pp. 378 ff.
Moulin-Frier, Clément & Michael A. Arbib
2013. Recognizing speech in a novel accent: the motor theory of speech perception reframed. Biological Cybernetics 107:4 ► pp. 421 ff.
Moulin-Frier, Clément, Julien Diard, Jean-Luc Schwartz & Pierre Bessière
2015. COSMO (“Communicating about Objects using Sensory–Motor Operations”): A Bayesian modeling framework for studying speech communication and the emergence of phonological systems. Journal of Phonetics 53 ► pp. 5 ff.
Shuai, Lan & Tao Gong
2013. Book review. Lingua 134 ► pp. 27 ff.
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