Language Evolution (book synopsis)/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Language Evolution (book synopsis).
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Journal articles

  • Christiansen MH, Kirby S. (2003) Language evolution: consensus and controversies. Trends Cogn Sci. 7:300-307.
    • Abstract: Why is language the way it is? How did language come to be this way? And why is our species alone in having complex language? These are old unsolved questions that have seen a renaissance in the dramatic recent growth in research being published on the origins and evolution of human language. This review provides a broad overview of some of the important current work in this area. We highlight new methodologies (such as computational modeling), emerging points of consensus (such as the importance of pre-adaptation), and the major remaining controversies (such as gestural origins of language). We also discuss why language evolution is such a difficult problem, and suggest probable directions research may take in the near future.