All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Publish in OALib Journal
ISSN: 2333-9721
APC: Only $99


Language Evolution in Biolinguistics from a Multi-Factor Perspective

DOI: 10.4236/oalib.1105867, PP. 1-17

Subject Areas: Linguistics

Keywords: Language Evolution, Language Properties, Language Faculty, Biolinguistics, Uniqueness

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


Biolinguistics is an interdisciplinary subject derived from the interaction of biology and linguistics. In 1967, after the publication of Biological Foundations of Language by Lenneberg E.H., the vision of Language study has been introduced into the field of biology. Later, Chomsky proposed the term of language faculty and regarded language as “an organ of the body”. Different from traditional linguists’ description of the rules of language externalization, Chomsky focuses on the biological mechanism of internalized language. The challenge of theory of evolution in biology has also enriched the study of the origin and evolution of language. This thesis will begin with the mythological origin and philosophical foundation of language, chase the challenge of evolutionary theory, and discuss two groups of basic properties of language, which is unity and diversity, recursiveness and thinking, so as to further study the relation between language and its biological basis, that is, from language and speech organ, language and thought to language and gene, to analyze the uniqueness of human language competence.

Cite this paper

Shao, Z. (2019). Language Evolution in Biolinguistics from a Multi-Factor Perspective. Open Access Library Journal, 6, e5867. doi:


[1]  Ferretti, F., Adornetti, I., Chiera, A., Cosentino, E. and Nicchiarelli, S. (2018) Introduction: Origin and Evolution of Lan-guage—An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Topoi, 37,219-234.
[2]  Schreyer, R. (1985) The Origin of Language: A Scientific Approach to the Study of Man. Topoi, 4, 181-186.
[3]  Corballis, M.C. (2017) Language Evolution: A Changing Perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21, 229-236.
[4]  Chomsky, N. (2015) Some Core Contested Concepts. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 44, 91-104.
[5]  Darwin, C. (1968) On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. Murray, London, 502.
[6]  Laland, K.N., Uller, T., Feldman, M.W., et al. (2015) The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis: Its Structure, Assumptions and Predictions. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282, Article ID: 20151019.
[7]  Pinker, S. and Bloom, P. (1990) Natural Language and Natural Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13, 707-727.
[8]  Gould, S.J. and Lewontin, R.C. (1979) The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. Biological Sciences, 205, 581-598.
[9]  Gould, S.J. and Eldredge, N. (1977) Punctuated Equilibria: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered. Paleobiology, 3, 115-151.
[10]  Chomsky, N. (2010) How to Look Today’s Biolinguistics Program. Linguistic Sciences, 2, 113-123.
[11]  Fischmeister, F.P., Mauricio, M.J.F., Beisteiner, R. and Fitch, W.T. (2016) Self-Similarity and Recursion as Default Modes in Human Cognition. Cortex, 97, 183-201.
[12]  Fitch, W.T. (2018) Bio-Linguistics: Monkeys Break through the Syntax Barrier. Current Biology, 28, 695-717.
[13]  Fitch, W.T. (2005) The Evolution of Language: A Comparative Review. Biology and Philosophy, 20, 193-203.
[14]  Janik, V.M. and Slater, P.J.B. (1997) Vocal Learning in Mammals. Advances in the Study of Behaviour, 26, 59-100.
[15]  Savage-Rumbaugh, E.S., Murphy, J., Sevcik, R.A., Brakke, K.E., Williams, S.L., Rumbaugh, D.M. and Bates, E. (1993) Language Comprehension in Ape and Child. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 122, 231-263.
[16]  Jürgens, U. (1998) Neuronal Control of Mammalian Vocalization, with Special Reference to the Squirrel Monkey. Naturwissenschaften, 85,376-388.
[17]  Donald, M. (1991) Origins of the Modern Mind: Three Stages in the Evolution of Culture and Cognition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
[18]  Moore, B.R. (1992) Avian Movement Imitation and a New Form of Mimicry: Tracing the Evolution of a Complex Form of Learning. Behaviour, 122, 231-263.
[19]  Kuhl, P.K. and Miller, J.D. (1978) Speech Perception by the Chinchilla: Identification Functions for Synthetic VOT Stimuli. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 63, 905-917.
[20]  Kluender, K.R., Lotto, A.J., Holt, L.L., et al. (1998) Role of Experience for Language-Specific Functional Mappings of Vowel Sounds. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 104, 3568-3582.
[21]  Fitch, W.T. (1997) Vocal Tract Length and Formant Frequency Dispersion Correlate with Body Size in Rhesus Macaques. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 102, 1213-1222.
[22]  Ramus, F., Hauser, M.D., Miller, C., Morris, D. and Mehler, J. (2000) Language Discrimination by Human Newborns and by Cotton-Top Tamarin Monkeys. Science, 288, 349-351.
[23]  Martins, M.J.D., Mur?i?, Z., Oh, J. and Fitch, W.T. (2015) Representing Visual Recursion Does Not Require Verbal or Motor Resources. Cognitive Psychology, 77, 20-41.
[24]  Martins, M.D., Gingras, B., Puig-Waldmueller, E. and Fitch, W.T. (2017) Cognitive Representation of ‘‘Musical Fractals”: Processing Hierarchy and Recursion in the Auditory Domain. Cognition, 161, 31-45.
[25]  Пaнов, E.H. (1983) Can Neanderthals Speak? Contemporary Linguistics, 1, 50-57.
[26]  Dong, Y.Z. and Zhang, R. (2009) New Horizons in the Study on the Biological Mechanism of Language: FOXP2 and Human Language Faculty. Journal of Northeastern University (Social Science), 4, 355-359.
[27]  Lai, C.S.L., Fisher, S.E., Hurst, J.A., Vargha-Khadem, F. and Monaco, A.P. (2001) A Forkhead-Domain Gene Is Mutated in a Severe Speech and Language Disorder. Nature, 413, 519-523.
[28]  Fisher, S.E. (2005) Dissection of Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Speech and Language Disorders. Applied Psycholinguistics, 26, 111-128.
[29]  Enard, W., Przeworski, M., Fisher, S.E., Lai, S.L., Wiebe, V., Kitano, T., Monaco, A.P. and Paabo, S. (2002) Molecular Evolution of FOXP2, a Gene Involved in Speech and Language. Nature, 418, 869-972.
[30]  Atkinson, E.G., Audesse, A.J., Palacios, J.A., Bobo, D.M., Webb, A.E., Ramachandran, S. and Henn, B.M. (2018) No Evidence for Recent Selection at FOXP2 among Diverse Human Populations. Cell, 174, 1-12.
[31]  Fisher, S.E. (2018) Human Genetics: The Evolving Story of FOXP2. Current Biology, 29, 65-67.
[32]  Zhao, Y.G. (2018) Explanations on the Evolution of Language and the Forward Road of Bio-Linguistics: Concurrent Comments on Why Only Us: Language and Evolution. Academic Exploration, 6, 107-116.
[33]  Berwick, R.C. and Chomsky, N. (2016) Why Only Us: Language and Evolution. MIT Press, Cambridge.
[34]  Wu, H.Q. (2012) Language, Brain and Memory: Some Interdisciplinary Approaches to Linguistics. Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou.


comments powered by Disqus

Contact Us


微信:OALib Journal