If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email help@ingentaconnect.com

Protolanguage reconstructed

$39.11 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Buy Article:

Abstract:

One important difference between existing accounts of protolanguage lies in their assumptions on the semantic complexity of protolinguistic utterances. I bring evidence about the nature of linguistic communication to bear on the plausibility of these assumptions, and show that communication is fundamentally inferential and characterised by semantic uncertainty. This not only allows individuals to maintain variation in linguistic representation, but also imposes a selection pressure that meanings be reconstructible from context. I argue that protolanguage utterances had varying degrees of semantic complexity, and developed into complex language gradually, through the same processes of re-analysis and analogy which still underpin continual change in modern languages.

Keywords: INFERENCE; LANGUAGE EVOLUTION; MEANING; PROTOLANGUAGE; REANALYSIS; SEMANTIC RECONSTRUCTABILITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/is.9.1.08smi

Publication date: April 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
Related content

Tools

Favourites

Share Content

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more