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3 (following Aiello and Dunbar 1993). Superimposed on this graph is the approximate distribution of primate-like (stippled bars) and modern human-like (solid bars) thoracic vertebrae (from MacLarnon and Hewitt 1999) and hypoglossal canals (from Kay et al. 1998). The vertical dashed line demarcates the time period at which all three datasets suggest the capacity for speech might have evolved. upper limits for primate grooming time (20%), the erectus group exhibit levels that hover comfortably around the 20% limit, and it is not really until the appearance of archaic humans that the grooming time significantly exceeds the 20% limit, rising rapidly to ∼37% in anatomically moderns.

And how strict does sociality have to be? Is it possible that some form of linguistic cheating can be tolerated? And how can an existing communication system reinforce sociality once it has emerged? 4). 2 Language as a complex adaptive system Debates on the origins of language are traditionally divided between those emphasizing genetic evolution (both of the language faculty and of the Is sociality a prerequisite for the emergence of language? 39 conceptual repertoire that can be used for the meaning of language expressions) versus those that emphasize cultural evolution.

Most inventions or variations do not survive beyond their short-term context, but some of them do and when these adoptions are added layer upon layer they lead to long-term observable language change. Almost all these inventions are made by adults. For example, new words in the lexicon, such as words for new technological devices like mobile phones or new forms of social and economical organization, are clearly introduced by adults and they then propagate. Data show clearly that the same is true for syntactic change (Francis and Michaelis 2002) and for phonetic change (Labov 1986).

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Prehistory of language by Botha, Rudolf P.; Knight, Chris

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