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Academic & Professional Books  Evolutionary Biology  Human Evolution & Anthropology

The Dawn of Language How We Came to Talk

Popular Science New
By: Sverker Johansson(Author), Frank Perry(Translated by)
419 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: MacLehose Press
The Dawn of Language
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  • The Dawn of Language ISBN: 9781529411393 Hardback Sep 2021 In stock
    £24.99
    #254601
Price: £24.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Who was "the first speaker" and what was their first message? An erudite, tightly woven and beautifully written account of one of humanity's greatest mysteries – the origins of language.

Drawing on evidence from many fields, including archaeology, anthropology, neurology and linguistics, Sverker Johansson weaves these disparate threads together to show how our human ancestors evolved into language users. The Dawn of Language provides a fascinating survey of how grammar came into being and the differences or similarities between languages spoken around the world, before exploring how language eventually emerged in the very remote human past.

Our intellectual and physiological changes through the process of evolution both have a bearing on our ability to acquire language. But to what extent is the evolution of language dependent on genes, or on environment? How has language evolved further, and how is it changing now, in the process of globalisation? And which aspects of language ensure that robots are not yet intelligent enough to reconstruct how language has evolved?

Johansson's far-reaching, authoritative and research-based approach to language is brought to life through dozens of astonishing examples, both human and animal, in a fascinatingly erudite and entertaining volume for anyone who has ever contemplated not just why we speak the way we do, but why we speak at all.

Customer Reviews

Biography

Sverker Johansson, Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and Master of Philosophy in Linguistics, was born 1961 in Lund, southern Sweden. He is a senior advisor at Dalarna University, has conducted research at CERN in Switzerland and participated in EVOLANG, the leading international conference for research on the origins and evolution of language, since 2006. Through a bot that he programmed, Lsjbot, Johansson is behind an estimated 8% of all articles on Swedish Wikipedia, covering everything from fungi to municipalities in the Philippines.

Frank Perry's translations have won the Swedish Academy Prize for the introduction of Swedish literature abroad and the prize of the Writer's Guild of Sweden for drama translation. His translation of Lina Wolff's Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs was the 2017 winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, and was awarded the triennial Bernard Shaw Prize for best literary translation from Swedish.

Popular Science New
By: Sverker Johansson(Author), Frank Perry(Translated by)
419 pages, b/w photos, b/w illustrations
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Media reviews

"Popular science of the highest order. All the necessary ingredients are there: a well-read author, an educational mindset and good, fluent prose."
Svenska Dagbladet

"A formidable educational journey [...] This is the book the linguists have needed for so long."
Expressen

"Johansson writes with enthusiasm and a desire to impart his knowledge [...] The delight is contagious."
Språktidningen

"A fascinating overview of human language"
Smålandsposten

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