Tool Intelligence as an Explanation of Cross-Linguistic Variation and Family Resemblance: An Evolutionary and Typological Investigation (Hardback)
  • Tool Intelligence as an Explanation of Cross-Linguistic Variation and Family Resemblance: An Evolutionary and Typological Investigation (Hardback)
zoom

Tool Intelligence as an Explanation of Cross-Linguistic Variation and Family Resemblance: An Evolutionary and Typological Investigation (Hardback)

(author)
£60.00
Hardback 258 Pages / Published: 15/01/2019
  • Coming soon

Awaiting publication

  • This item has been added to your basket
Martian perspectives aside, human languages are extremely diverse and do not share universal structural categories. Moreover, human language is intentional and arbitrary and thus different from biological systems like echolocation in bats, spatial navigation in honeybees or human vision. What then are the evolutionary foundations of language? Where does it come from and how did it evolve? These are still major issues in the modern language sciences. This book offers a new insight into the evolution of language by drawing the analogy to material cultures in nonhuman primates. Tool intelligence describes an extended problem awareness and the ability to invent instrumental means in order to manipulate the environment. Tools are invented by nonhuman primates under natural conditions of living. They are subject to group-specific lines of cultural descent and cross-group variation. The psychological infrastructure of this behavior consists of general cognitive abilities and the ability to invent complex solutions intentionally. The resulting tool categories are abstract and distinct from primary perceptions of the environment. Language rests on the same psychological infrastructure. It is a tool for communication. Unlike material tool use, it is aimed at the complex mental world of social others. Speakers rely on verbal means to manipulate the universe of attitudes in others, pursuing same or different goals in nonverbal activities. Language thereby adds a new dimension along which the tool intelligence unfolds and sustains the manipulation of the environment under intentional goal orientations. The resulting linguistic categories are again categories suis generis. Yet the cross-linguistic patterns of variation and family resemblance remain identical and true to the general predictions of the tool hypothesis as derived from prelinguistic cognition and behavior.

Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9781498561211
Number of pages: 258
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In her new book, Tool Intelligence as an Explanation of Cross-Linguistic Variation and Family Resemblance: An Evolutionary and Typological Investigation, Anneliese Kuhle has rendered the cognitive, linguistics, and evolutionary communities a great service. She provides a well-researched and clearly argued uniformitarianist thesis of language evolution. Carefully researching human linguistic abilities as an outgrowth of tool use, she provides new arguments for the thesis that the roots of human linguistic abilities reach back beyond the dawn of our species and are continuous with similar skills found in other species. Her ideas present a challenge for the simplistic view that human language is a recent mutation and utterly unlike the skills we see in other primates. I strongly recommend this book to serious students of linguistic and cognitive evolution. I learned a great deal from reading this marvelous study. -- Daniel L. Everett, Bentley University
Only humans use language for social communication. Does this uniqueness exclude evolutionary roots in animals? Anneliese Kuhle presents incisive/in-depth discussions about the underlying essential cognitive faculties of language within the conceptual frame of general intelligence deriving the arguments from the viewpoints of comparative behavioral biology, neuroscience, psychology and linguistic. Tool intelligence is identified as the key evolutionary driving force leading from innovative and socially transmitted use of physical tools in great apes to the mental tools required for language acquisition in humans. The broad cross-disciplinary approach enriches enormously the current debate about the biological conditions of language evolution. -- Randolf Menzel, Freie Universitat Berlin

You may also be interested in...

How Language Began
Added to basket
Word Play
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
The Etymologicon
Added to basket
£8.99   £6.99
Paperback
Modern Toss: Tossary of Terms
Added to basket
Let's Sign Pocket Dictionary
Added to basket
The Will to Power
Added to basket
Confabulations
Added to basket
£7.99   £6.49
Paperback
At the Edge of the Wood
Added to basket
Swearing Is Good For You
Added to basket
Foucault: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
Have You Eaten Grandma?
Added to basket
Lost in Translation
Added to basket
Thank You for Arguing
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.