SEL3005 Language evolution and language development Many researchers consider the development of language: Linguistics- Language Evolution Assignment, TUE, UK

University The University of Edinburgh (TUE)
Subject SEL3005 Linguistics- Language Evolution Assignment

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1. Language evolution and language development Many researchers consider the development of language (i.e., language acquisition in individuals) an informative source of evidence about the evolution of language (i.e., the evolution of language in our species).

Explain why language learning in individuals is relevant to language evolution in our species. Starting sources Chapter, N. & Christiansen, M.H. (2010). Language acquisition meets language evolution. Cognitive Science, 34(7), 1131-1157. 6709.2009.01049.xLinks to an external site.

Yang, C., Crain, S., Berwick, R.C., Chomsky, N. & Bolhuis, J.J. (2017). The growth of language: Universal grammar, experience, and principles of computation. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 81(B), 103-
119 to an external site.

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2. Language evolution and animal
communication/cognition Often when people start to understand the study of language evolution focuses more on the capacity for language in our species than on historical linguistics or language change, their first question is: why other species have language? Using an adaptationist view of language, write an article that explores why other species seem not to have (entirely) language-like communication systems. Starting sources Searcy, W. A. (2019).

Animal communication, cognition, and the evolution of language. Animal Behaviour, 151, 203– 205. to an external site. Fishbein, A.R., Fritz, J.B., Idsardi, W.J., & Wilkinson, G.S. (2020). What can animal communication tell us about the evolution of language? Proc. Royal Society B, 375 (1789), to an external site.

3. Language evolution and music
Alongside language, music is a human cultural universal: it occurs across human cultures and manifests in a variety of ways. Write about the similarities – and differences – between music and language, from an adaptationist perspective, highlighting why (or why not) the evolution of these two human universals might be entwined.

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