Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Evolution of Communicative FlexibilityComplexity, Creativity, and Adaptability in Human and Animal Communication$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Language and Niche Construction

Language and Niche Construction

(p.214) (p.215) 10 Language and Niche Construction
Evolution of Communicative Flexibility

Kim Sterelny

The MIT Press

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

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.