Language, Evolution, and the Brain

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A number of research groups around the world have begun to study how the brain acquires and processes language, but we still know comparatively little about it. Many such groups work on very specific, often narrow, problems. This approach is certainly necessary, but a broad perspective can be helpful, if not essential, too.

This volume consists of an important collection of papers presented at the Seminar on Language, Evolution, and the Brain (SLEB), hosted by the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Kyoto, Japan, bringing together distinguished researchers with background in cognitive science, anthropology, linguistics, robotics, physics, etc. Major topics discussed here include:

  1. Creoles and pidgins, and their implications regarding language evolution.

  2. Quantitative analysis and modeling of various aspects of language evolution, including the evolution of lexical items and color terms, the emergence of linguistics categories, and the dynamics of language competition.

  3. The evolution of the human brain
Pub. Date
Jul 1, 2009
307 pages
148 x 210 mm
  • The Evolution of Language: Hints from Creoles And Pidgins
    — Salikoko S. MUFWENE
  • Sounds like Teen Spirit: Computational Insights into the Grounding of Everyday Musical Terms
    — Jean-Julien AUCOUTURIER
  • Grammaticalization and Cognitive Constraints on Grammar
    —Masayoshi SHIBATANI
  • Evolution of the Global Organization of the Lexicon
    —Mieko OGURA
  • Evolution of Basic Color Terms
    —Mike DOWMAN
  • Complex Systems Approach to the Emergence of Language
    —Andrea BARONCHELLI, Ciro CATTUTO, Vittorio LORETO, Andrea PUGLISI
  • Modeling Language Competition across Communities
    —James W. MINETT
  • Brain Evolution Relevant to language
    —P. Thomas SCHOENEMANN
  • Mirror Neurons: Extraordinary or Ordinary?
    —Erhan OZTOP
  • The Role of Uncertainty in Communication: Analysis of Atypical Grammatical Usage and Simulating Game Players
    —Ryoko UNO, Takashi IKEGAMI
  • Lateralized Whorf: Language Inlfuences Perceptual Decisions in the Right Visual Field
    —Paul KAY, Terry REGIER, Aubrey L. GILBERT, Richard B. IVRY
James W. MINETT is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Electronic Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests include electroencephalography (EEG), language and the brain, the computational modeling of language emergence, change and death, and the development of quantitative methods for historical linguistics. William S-Y. WANG is Wei Lun Research Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong based in the Department of Electronic Engineering, with affiliations to the Center for East Asian Studies, the Department of Translation, and the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages. He is an Academician of the Academia Sinica (Taiwan). He has published widely for both technical and general readerships, including articles in American Scientist, Nature, Scientific American, as well as in many encyclopedias. He has long been involved in evolutionary studies of language from a multi-disciplinary perspective, particularly the biological and computer sciences.