Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Biological Foundations and Origin of Syntax$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Derek Bickerton and Eörs Szathmáry

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013567

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013567.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

What Are the Possible Biological and Genetic Foundations for Syntactic Phenomena?

What Are the Possible Biological and Genetic Foundations for Syntactic Phenomena?

Chapter:
(p.207) 10 What Are the Possible Biological and Genetic Foundations for Syntactic Phenomena?
Source:
Biological Foundations and Origin of Syntax
Author(s):

Számadó Szabolcs

Hurford James R.

Bishop Dorothy V. M.

Deacon Terrence W.

d’Errico Francesco

Fischer Julia

Okanoya Kazuo

Szathmáry Eörs

White Stephanie A.

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262013567.003.0010

Syntax is a highly complex system unique to humans, and its evolution is even more complex. The comparative method used by biologists is not sufficient to elucidate human language but can still be employed to conduct investigations from the bottom up. This chapter examines the syntactic abilities of animals and the influence of genes on syntax or on language. It discusses potential evolutionary constraints and some potential mechanisms for the evolution of syntax, including the Baldwin effect, genetic assimilation, masking, and unmasking. It concludes with a review of the fossil and archaeological evidence that may help elucidate the evolution of syntax and formulate testable predictions.

Keywords:   syntax, language, evolution, genes, Baldwin effect, genetic assimilation, masking, unmasking

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.