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Computational Phenotypes: Towards an Evolutionary Developmental Biolinguistics

By: Sergio Balari and Guillermo Lorenzo

320 pages, illustrations

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Dec 2012 | #197822 | ISBN-13: 9780199665471
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £29.99 $38/€33 approx
Hardback | Dec 2012 | #197823 | ISBN-13: 9780199665464
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £65.00 $83/€72 approx

About this book

This book confronts the hotly debated claim that language is a species specific trait of humans. It also considers the notion that disentangling the evolutionary history of language is one of science's hardest problems. Building on the recent conceptual breakthroughs of the EvoDevo paradigm, Balari and Lorenzo argue that language is not so exceptional after all. It is, rather, just the human version of a fairly common and conservative organic system which they call the Central Computational Complex. The authors also propose that interspecies variation of this organ is restricted to (i) accessible memory resources, and (ii) patterns of external connectivity, both being the result of perturbations on the system underlying its development. The book, written accessibly for both biologists and linguists, offers a fresh perspective on language as a naturally evolved phenomenon.


1: The Pains of Being Cartesians/Owenians/Chomskyans at heart
2: My Beloved Monster
3: The Dead End of Communication
4: On True Homologues
5: Computational Homology
6: Introducing Computational Evo Devo
7: Other Minds
8: Conclusions


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Sergio Balari is a Professor of Linguistics at Universitat Aut#noma de Barcelona and Guillermo Lorenzo is Professor of Linguistics at Universidad de Oviedo. They are members of an interuniversity team currently working on the developmental basis and evolutionary origins of language, with funds provided by the Spanish Government and FEDER. Sergio Balari is also a member of the Centre de Ling##stica Te#rica (Universitat Aut#noma de Barcelona). They have coauthored several articles in leading journals such as "Biolinguistics", "Biological Theory" and "International Journal of Evolutionary Biology".

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