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Language and Human Behavior (Jessie and John Danz Lectures)
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Top Customer Reviews
Summary: The book is very interesting and very well written; it was easy reading for me. It deserves the best score and I strongly recommend it.
However, linguist Derek Bickerton takes issue with the standard model. In particular with regard to the relationship between intelligence and language, he believes the evolutionary scientists have the process backwards. Instead of viewing language as a product of intelligence, Bickerton argues instead that intelligence is a product of language. In "Language and Human Behavior," Bickerton presents the case that humans stumbled upon language, which then drove brain expansion and intelligence.
Bickerton argues that language evolved in two stages, and that "fossils" of the first stage still exist today. The distinction he makes here is between proto-language and full language. Proto-language has a limited vocabulary and no syntax; it is spoken in a halting fashion and has limited range of expression compared to full language. Full language, other the other hand, is represented by English, Chinese, or any other language spoken in the world. It also includes most signed languages, as well as the languages of so-called "primitive" peoples.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dr. Bickerton has contributed an exceptionally powerful, yet brief argument for his thesis that "human cognition came out of language. Read morePublished on November 26, 2010 by J. Scott Shipman
Although "Language and Human Behavior," by Derek Bickerton, is a fascinating subject, I found the book way above my head. I am not a scientist, nor even a scholar on the subject. Read morePublished on September 25, 2010 by Olga Drucker