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Evolution of Communicative FlexibilityComplexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication$
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D. Kimbrough Oller and Ulrike Griebel

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262151214

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262151214.001.0001

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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: 27 February 2021

Language and Niche Construction

Language and Niche Construction

Chapter:
(p.214) (p.215) 10 Language and Niche Construction
Source:
Evolution of Communicative Flexibility
Author(s):

Kim Sterelny

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262151214.003.0010

This chapter considers the selectional effects of human niche creation on language evolution, effects that are linked with special characteristics of human social systems. It describes the evolution of a fully grammaticalized language and argues that quarantining the costs of deception was one of the factors driving grammaticalization. The chapter distinguishes between signaling systems and symbol-using systems, and shows that fundamental change in the organization of language itself—the grammaticalization of protolanguage—is in part driven by vetting issues. It suggests that the evolutionary transition from a basic protolanguage to full human language involved a multitude of changes to phonology, morphology, and syntax.

Keywords:   human niche, grammaticalized language, social systems, grammaticalization, signaling systems, symbol-using systems, protolanguage, phonology, morphology, syntax

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