How the Brain Got Language: The Mirror System Hypothesis (Studies in the Evolution of Language)

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9780199896684: How the Brain Got Language: The Mirror System Hypothesis (Studies in the Evolution of Language)

Unlike any other species, humans can learn and use language. This book explains how the brain evolved to make language possible, through what Michael Arbib calls the Mirror System Hypothesis. Because of mirror neurons, monkeys, chimps, and humans can learn by imitation, but only "complex imitation," which humans exhibit, is powerful enough to support the breakthrough to language. This theory provides a path from the openness of manual gesture, which we share with nonhuman primates, through the complex imitation of manual skills, pantomime, protosign (communication based on conventionalized manual gestures), and finally to protospeech. The theory explains why we humans are as capable of learning sign languages as we are of learning to speak. This fascinating book shows how cultural evolution took over from biological evolution for the transition from protolanguage to fully fledged languages. The author explains how the brain mechanisms that made the original emergence of languages possible, perhaps 100,000 years ago, are still operative today in the way children acquire language, in the way that new sign languages have emerged in recent decades, and in the historical processes of language change on a time scale from decades to centuries. Though the subject is complex, this book is highly readable, providing all the necessary background in primatology, neuroscience, and linguistics to make the book accessible to a general audience.

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About the Author:


Michael Arbib was a pioneer in the interdisciplinary study of computers and brains, and has long studied brain mechanisms underlying the visual control of action. For more than a decade he has devoted much energy to understanding the relevance of this work, and especially of mirror neurons, to the evolution of the language-ready brain.

Review:


"...I recommend Arbib's book to serious students of language evolution.... How the Brain Got Language should be a valuable resource for scholars of language evolution." --PsycCRITIQUES


"Arbib's book copiously illustrates the interdisciplinarity of research on language evolution, drawing on data from neuroscience, etholohy, linguistics, human palaeontology and prehistoric archaeology." - Kerstin Hoge, Times Literary Supplement


"Arbib's book is well written and engaging. Even if one does not agree with Arbib on how the human brain got language, the book may interest the intended audience [of] educated lay readers, as well as researchers in linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, neurolinguistics, natural language processing, primatology, and anthropology." -Fredrik Heinat, Nordic Journal of Linguistics


"Together with introducing is own theory of language evolution, Arbib also rightfully evaluates some contemporary views on language origin. These views differ from Arbib's theory in terms of their different foci on linguistic components, distinct modularity and forms about the proto language, and various scenarios of language origin." -Lan Shuai & Tao Gong, SciVerse ScienceDirect


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Arbib, Michael A.
ISBN 10: 0199896682 ISBN 13: 9780199896684
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Descrizione libro 2012. HRD. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria VU-9780199896684

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Michael A. Arbib
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book explains how the human brain evolved to make language possible and how cultural evolution took over from biological evolution during the transition from basic forms of communication to fully fledged languages. Basing his argument on the latest research in neuroscience, linguistics, and primatology, Michael Arbib presents an up-to-the-minute version of a theory that offers insights into the evolutionary importance of the brain s mirror neurons that enable monkeys, chimps, and humans to recognize the actions of others. Only in humans have these evolved to allow the complex imitation which supports the breakthrough to language. This theory, he shows, lights the path from the simple manual gesture we share with apes, to the imitation of manual skills and pantomime, and to the development of sign language and speech. It also explains why we can learn sign languages as easily as we can learn to speak. The author looks at how the brain mechanisms that made the original emergence of fully-fledged languages possible are still active in the ways that children acquire language today and sign languages continue to emerge.He also shows their crucial role in the processes by which languages change on time scales from decades to centuries. This book explains how the brain evolved to make language Michael Arbib provides nonspecialist readers with all the necessary background in primatology, neuroscience, and linguistics. His compelling account of this fascinating subject is fully accessible to a general audience. Codice libro della libreria LIB9780199896684

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Michael A. Arbib
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2012. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book explains how the human brain evolved to make language possible and how cultural evolution took over from biological evolution during the transition from basic forms of communication to fully fledged languages. Basing his argument on the latest research in neuroscience, linguistics, and primatology, Michael Arbib presents an up-to-the-minute version of a theory that offers insights into the evolutionary importance of the brain s mirror neurons that enable monkeys, chimps, and humans to recognize the actions of others. Only in humans have these evolved to allow the complex imitation which supports the breakthrough to language. This theory, he shows, lights the path from the simple manual gesture we share with apes, to the imitation of manual skills and pantomime, and to the development of sign language and speech. It also explains why we can learn sign languages as easily as we can learn to speak. The author looks at how the brain mechanisms that made the original emergence of fully-fledged languages possible are still active in the ways that children acquire language today and sign languages continue to emerge.He also shows their crucial role in the processes by which languages change on time scales from decades to centuries. This book explains how the brain evolved to make language Michael Arbib provides nonspecialist readers with all the necessary background in primatology, neuroscience, and linguistics. His compelling account of this fascinating subject is fully accessible to a general audience. Codice libro della libreria LIB9780199896684

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Michael A Arbib
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Descrizione libro OUP USA 2012-07-05, New York, 2012. hardback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780199896684

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Jul 2012, 2012. Buch. Condizione libro: Neu. Neuware - Unlike any other species, humans can learn and use language. In this book, Michael Arbib presents the Mirror System Hypothesis, which suggests how complex imitation supported the breakthrough to pantomime, protosign and protospeech and then, through cultural evolution, to fully fledged languages. 413 pp. Englisch. Codice libro della libreria 9780199896684

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Michael A. Arbib
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Jul 2012, 2012. Buch. Condizione libro: Neu. Neuware - Unlike any other species, humans can learn and use language. In this book, Michael Arbib presents the Mirror System Hypothesis, which suggests how complex imitation supported the breakthrough to pantomime, protosign and protospeech and then, through cultural evolution, to fully fledged languages. 413 pp. Englisch. Codice libro della libreria 9780199896684

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