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ERIC Number: ED117979
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Aug-30
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Signing Apes and Evolving Linguistics.
Stokoe, William C.
Linguistics retains from its antecedents, philology and the study of sacred writings, some of their apologetic and theological bias. Thus it has not been able to face squarely the question how linguistic function may have evolved from animal communication. Chimpanzees' use of signs from American Sign Language forces re-examination of language origins and the evolution of progressively more highly encoded communicative systems. Linguistics has contributed to ignorance about sign languages when it has accepted an evolutionary view of human vocal and auditory organs but has called on a creation myth to account for speech and language. Not all linguists are so dualistic. Hewes, Kendon, Kavanagh, Liberman, Sarles, Wescott, and others have attempted to look at language as brain function with both limbic and vocal involvement, in recent meetings of the American Anthropological Association, the IXth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnographical Sciences, conferences of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the New York Academy of Sciences. A promising lead which may be empirically testable is that the gestural signal and not the all-at-once vocal signal (as in bird song) used by bipedal primates first divided into partials with nominal and verbal referents. (Author)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A