Pragmatic and Informative “Wholes”: the Evolutionary Roots of the Human Language

Piera Filippi

Risultato della ricerca: Other


The study of the origins of language has been the interest of several ungrounded debates which have often affected its scientific plausibility. In this paper, aiming at an internally consistent interdisciplinary approach, I will adopt Botha´s “Windows Approach" (2006) in order to justify the following two assumptions concerning the evolutionary roots of human language: a) despite the uniqueness of human language in sharing and conveying utterances with an open-ended structure, some isolated components of our linguistic competence are somehow shared with non-human primates, grounding a line of evolutionary continuity; b) the evolutionary thesis which sustains that the very first “linguistic” utterances were holistic - that is whole bunches of sounds able to convey information despite their lack of modern syntax. I will address such suppositions through the comparative analysis of three constitutive features of human language: syntax, the semantic value of utterances, and the ability to attribute mental states to conspecifics, i. e. the theory of mind.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine10
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011
Pubblicato esternamente


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