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Q&A: What is human language, when did it evolve and why should we care?

Pagel, M. (2017) Q&A: What is human language, when did it evolve and why should we care? BMC Biology, 15 (1). 64. ISSN 1741-7007

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1186/s12915-017-0405-3

Abstract/Summary

Human language is unique among all forms of animal communication. It is unlikely that any other species, including our close genetic cousins the Neanderthals, ever had language, and so-called sign 'language' in Great Apes is nothing like human language. Language evolution shares many features with biological evolution, and this has made it useful for tracing recent human history and for studying how culture evolves among groups of people with related languages. A case can be made that language has played a more important role in our species' recent (circa last 200,000 years) evolution than have our genes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:71865
Additional Information:** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router.
Publisher:BioMed Central

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