The article reconstructs the main lines of three hypotheses in the current literature concerning the evolutionary pace which characterized the natural history of human language: the “continuist” and gradualist perspective, the “discontinuist” and evolution-free perspective, and the “punctuationist” view. This current debate appears to have a long history, which starts at least from Darwin’s time. The article highlights the similarities between the old and the modern debates in terms of history of ideas, and it shows the current limits of each of these perspectives. In the final part, we present an alternative approach which considers human language not as a single trait, but as the result of a mosaic of different elements, some of which recently evolved, and some others gradually evolved and phylogenetically ancient. When matched with a tree thinking and comparative perspective, this view suggests that expressions of symbolic and linguistic behaviors in other human species could have preceded the more complex and systematic behaviors showed by Homo sapiens.
Continuity and Discontinuity in Human Language Evolution : Putting an Old-fashioned Debate in its Historical Perspective / A. Parravicini, T. Pievani. - In: TOPOI. - ISSN 0167-7411. - 37:2(2018), pp. 279-287.
|Titolo:||Continuity and Discontinuity in Human Language Evolution : Putting an Old-fashioned Debate in its Historical Perspective|
PARRAVICINI, ANDREA (Primo) (Corresponding)
|Parole Chiave:||Exaptation; Gradualism; Historical debates; Human language evolution; Mosaic evolution; Punctuationist approach; Tree thinking|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore M-FIL/01 - Filosofia Teoretica|
Settore M-FIL/02 - Logica e Filosofia della Scienza
Settore BIO/08 - Antropologia
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11245-016-9431-y|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|