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Finding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants, and the Origins of Language Hardcover – March 17, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a compelling hypothesis. The problem, though, is that there's no evidence for it. DF does a good job of establishing the relationship between motherese and language-learning in the context of an established linguistic environment. The chapters she devotes to this linkage are quite interesting. But her account of the origins of motherese and of its role in the origins and evolution of language are pure, albeit educated, speculation. It may be true that putting babies down was language's 'big bang' moment. But how can we ever know that? DF presents her speculations as though they were faites accomplis. They are not. In her scholarly writing, I assume DF exercises due scientific caution in presenting evidence and forwarding hypotheses.Read more ›
Dr. Falk, as an evolutionary anthropologist, approaches the subject of language origin from a different (though complementary) perspective. She is interested, for example, in why humans would communicate with each other at all. How did such an impulse evolve? What is the connection between human messages and human nature? What role did mothering and infant needs play? Out of what other forms of communication, such as gestures and music, might the complex verbal system have taken its cues? Even if one focuses on grammatical issues in language development, it is useful to be aware of the broad view of evolving human nature that Falk presents. And beyond that, her book is a great read, page after page filled with fascinating bits of information about everyone's favorite topic--ourselves.
--Dr. William Murdick, author of "What English Teachers Need to Know about Grammar"
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had to purchase this book for my introduction to linguistic anthropology class. While it presented some really interesting questions and provided equally interesting evidence to... Read morePublished on February 16, 2011 by huntress
This book is an anthropological look at the origin of human speech. The first 70 or so pages (comprising more than a third of the book) contain very little on language. Read morePublished on April 2, 2010 by Loves the View