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From Hand to Mouth

  • Couverture cartonnée
  • 272 Nombre de pages
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Bringing in evidence to bolster what has been a minority view, this text goes beyond earlier supporters of a gestural theory by su... Lire la suite
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Description

Bringing in evidence to bolster what has been a minority view, this text goes beyond earlier supporters of a gestural theory by suggesting why speech eventually (but not completely) supplanted gesture.

Auteur

Michael C. Corballis is Professor of Psychology and a member of the Research Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Auckland. He is the author of three books, including "The Lopsided Ape", and coeditor of "The Descent of Mind". His work has appeared in "Science","Nature", Scientific American", and "American Scientist".

Texte du rabat

It is often said that speech is what distinguishes us from other animals. But are we all talk? What if language was bequeathed to us not by word of mouth, but as a hand-me-down?

The notion that language evolved not from animal cries but from manual and facial gestures--that, for most of human history, actions have spoken louder than words--has been around since Condillac. But never before has anyone developed a full-fledged theory of how, why, and with what effects language evolved from a gestural system to the spoken word. Marshaling far-flung evidence from anthropology, animal behavior, neurology, molecular biology, anatomy, linguistics, and evolutionary psychology, Michael Corballis makes the case that language developed, with the emergence of Homo sapiens, from primate gestures to a true signed language, complete with grammar and syntax and at best punctuated with grunts and other vocalizations. While vocal utterance played an increasingly important complementary role, autonomous speech did not appear until about 50,000 years ago--much later than generally believed.

Bringing in significant new evidence to bolster what has been a minority view, Corballis goes beyond earlier supporters of a gestural theory by suggesting why speech eventually (but not completely!) supplanted gesture. He then uses this milestone to account for the artistic explosion and demographic triumph of the particular group of Homo sapiens from whom we are descended. And he asserts that speech, like written language, was a cultural invention and not a biological fait accompli.

Writing with wit and eloquence, Corballis makes nimble reference to literature, mythology, natural history, sports, and contemporary politics as he explains in fascinating detail what we now know about such varied subjects as early hominid evolution, modern signed languages, and the causes of left-handedness. From Hand to Mouth will have scholars and laymen alike talking--and sometimes gesturing--for years to come.



Résumé
Marshaling far-flung evidence from anthropology, animal behavior, neurology, molecular biology, anatomy, linguistics, and evolutionary psychology, the author makes the case that language developed, with the emergence of Homo sapiens, from primate gestures to a true signed language, complete with grammar and syntax.

Contenu

Preface vii Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1. What Is Language? 1 Chapter 2. Do Animals Have Language? 21 Chapter 3. In the Beginning Was the Gesture 41 Chapter 4. On Our Own Two Feet 66 Chapter 5. Becoming Human 82 Chapter 6. Signed Language 102 Chapter 7. It's All Talk 126 Chapter 8. Why Are We Lopsided? 159 Chapter 9. From Hand to Mouth 184 Chapter 10. Synopsis 213 References 221 Index 247

Informations sur le produit

Titre: From Hand to Mouth
Sous-titre: The Origins of Language
Auteur:
Code EAN: 9780691116730
ISBN: 0691116733
Format: Couverture cartonnée
nombre de pages: 272
Poids: 386g
Taille: H234mm x B156mm x T14mm
Année: 2003