- Evolutionary explanations for natural language: criteria from evolutionary biology
- ILLC Preprint Series
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Theories of the evolutionary origins of language must be informed by empirical and theoretical results from a variety of different fields. Complementing recent surveys of relevant work from linguistics, animal behaviour and genetics, this paper surveys the requirements on evolutionary scenarios that derive from mathematical evolutionary biology. It presents a number of simple but fundamental models from population genetics, evolutionary game-theory and social evolution theory, and evaluates their applicability to natural language. This review yields a list of required elements of evolutionary explanations
in general, and of explanations for language and communication in particular.
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.