Birdsong, Speech, and Language: Exploring the Evolution of Mind and Brain

Johan J. Bolhuis, Martin Everaert
MIT Press, 2013 - 542 páginas

Scholars have long been captivated by the parallels between birdsong and human speechand language. In this book, leading scholars draw on the latest research to explore what birdsongcan tell us about the biology of human speech and language and the consequences for evolutionarybiology. They examine the cognitive and neural similarities between birdsong learning and speech andlanguage acquisition, considering vocal imitation, auditory learning, an early vocalization phase("babbling"), the structural properties of birdsong and human language, and the strikingsimilarities between the neural organization of learning and vocal production in birdsong and humanspeech. After outlining the basic issues involved in the study of both language and evolution, thecontributors compare birdsong and language in terms of acquisition, recursion, and core structuralproperties, and then examine the neurobiology of song and speech, genomic factors, and the emergenceand evolution of language.

Contributors: Hermann Ackermann, Gabriël J.L. Beckers,Robert C. Berwick, Johan J. Bolhuis, Noam Chomsky, Frank Eisner, Martin Everaert, Michale S. Fee,Olga Fehér, Simon E. Fisher, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Jonathan B. Fritz, Sharon M.H. Gobes, RinyHuijbregts, Eric Jarvis, Robert Lachlan, Ann Law, Michael A. Long, Gary F. Marcus, CarolynMcGettigan, Daniel Mietchen, Richard Mooney, Sanne Moorman, Kazuo Okanoya, Christophe Pallier, IreneM. Pepperberg, Jonathan F. Prather, Franck Ramus, Eric Reuland, Constance Scharff, Sophie K. Scott,Neil Smith, Ofer Tchernichovski, Carel ten Cate, Christopher K. Thompson, Frank Wijnen, Moira Yip,Wolfram Ziegler, Willem Zuidema


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II Acquisition of Birdsong and Speech
III Phonology and Syntax
IV Neurobiology of Song and Speech
V Genes Song Speech and Language
VI Evolution of Song Speech and Language
List of Contributors
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Johan J. Bolhuis is Professor of Cognitive Neurobiology at Utrecht University.

Robert C. Berwick is Professor of Computational Linguistics and Computer Science and Engineering, in the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society at MIT and the author of Computational Complexity and Natural Language and The Acquisition of Syntactic Knowledge, both published by the MIT Press.

Martin Everaert is Professor of Linguistics at Utrecht University.

Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 7, 1928. Son of a Russian emigrant who was a Hebrew scholar, Chomsky was exposed at a young age to the study of language and principles of grammar. During the 1940s, he began developing socialist political leanings through his encounters with the New York Jewish intellectual community. Chomsky received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied linguistics, mathematics, and philosophy. He conducted much of his research at Harvard University. In 1955, he began teaching at MIT, eventually holding the Ferrari P. Ward Chair of Modern Language and Linguistics. Today Chomsky is highly regarded as both one of America's most prominent linguists and most notorious social critics and political activists. His academic reputation began with the publication of Syntactic Structures in 1957. Within a decade, he became known as an outspoken intellectual opponent of the Vietnam War. Chomsky has written many books on the links between language, human creativity, and intelligence, including Language and Mind (1967) and Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use (1985). He also has written dozens of political analyses, including Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988), Chronicles of Dissent (1992), and The Prosperous Few and the Restless Many (1993).

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