Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.
“A model of popular-science writing” STEVEN POOLE
“I love a book that teaches me things I didn’t know while provoking in me thoughts I never had before, setting my mind racing in new directions. Such a book is The Dawn of Language” RICHARD DAWKINS “Magisterial . . . [A] detective story of the deep past” Telegraph Who was “the first speaker” and what was their first message? An erudite, tightly woven and beautifully written account of one of humanity’s greatest mysteries – the origins of language.
Drawing on evidence from many fields, including archaeology, anthropology, neurology and linguistics, Sverker Johansson weaves these disparate threads together to show how our human ancestors evolved into language users. The Dawn of Language provides a fascinating survey of how grammar came into being and the differences or similarities between languages spoken around the world, before exploring how language eventually emerged in the very remote human past.
Our intellectual and physiological changes through the process of evolution both have a bearing on our ability to acquire language. But to what extent is the evolution of language dependent on genes, or on environment? How has language evolved further, and how is it changing now, in the process of globalisation? And which aspects of language ensure that robots are not yet intelligent enough to reconstruct how language has evolved?
Johansson’s far-reaching, authoritative and research-based approach to language is brought to life through dozens of astonishing examples, both human and animal, in a fascinatingly erudite and entertaining volume for anyone who has ever contemplated not just why we speak the way we do, but why we speak at all.
Translated from the Swedish by Frank Perry
<p>Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest MacLehose Press news, author exclusives, offers and competition details</p>
<p><a href="https://www.quercusbooks.co.uk/landing-page/quercus/quercus-company-information/">The data controller is Quercus Editions Ltd</a>.</p>
<p>Read about how we’ll protect and use your data in our <a href="/imprint/maclehosepress/page/maclehose-press-privacy-notice-holding/">Privacy Notice.</a></p>
<p>You can unsubscribe at any time via the link in any email we send you.</p>