Language and Human Behavior

Language and Human Behavior

Author: Derek Bickerton

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 9780295801049

Category: Social Science

Page: 190

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�What this book proposes to do,� writes Derek Bickerton, �is to stand the conventional wisdom of the behavioral sciences on its head: instead of the human species growing clever enough to invent language, it will view that species as blundering into language and, as a direct result of that, becoming clever.� According to Bickerton, the behavioral sciences have failed to give an adequate account of human nature at least partly because of the conjunction and mutual reinforcement of two widespread beliefs: that language is simply a means of communication and that human intelligence is the result of the rapid growth and unusual size of human brains. Bickerton argues that each of the properties distinguishing human intelligence and consciousness from that of other animals can be shown to derive straightforwardly from properties of language. In essence, language arose as a representational system, not a means of communication or a skill, and not a product of culture but an evolutionary adaptation. The author stresses the necessity of viewing intelligence in evolutionary terms, seeing it not as problem solving but as a way of maintaining homeostasis�the preservation of those conditions most favorable to an organism, the optimal achievable conditions for survival and well-being. Nonhumans practice what he calls �on-line thinking� to maintain homeostasis, but only humans can employ off-line thinking: �only humans can assemble fragments of information to form a pattern that they can later act upon without having to wait on that great but unpunctual teacher, experience.� The term protolanguage is used to describe the stringing together of symbols that prehuman hominids employed. �It did not allow them to turn today�s imagination into tomorrow�s fact. But it is just this power to transform imagination into fact that distinguishes human behavior from that of our ancestral species, and indeed from that of all other species. It is exactly what enables us to change our behavior, or invent vast ranges of new behavior, practically overnight, with no concomitant genetic changes.� Language and Human Behavior should be of interest to anyone in the behavioral and evolutionary sciences and to all those concerned with the role of language in human behavior.
Language and Human Behavior
Language: en
Pages: 190
Authors: Derek Bickerton
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-05-01 - Publisher: University of Washington Press

�What this book proposes to do,� writes Derek Bickerton, �is to stand the conventional wisdom of the behavioral sciences on its head: instead of the human species growing clever enough to invent language, it will view that species as blundering into language and, as a direct result of that, becoming
Language and Human Behavior
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Shahrzad Mahootian, Lewis Gebhardt
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-07-10 - Publisher:

Books about Language and Human Behavior
Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior
Language: en
Pages: 762
Authors: Kenneth L. Pike
Categories: Human behavior
Type: BOOK - Published: 1971 - Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton

Books about Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior
Language and Human Behavior
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Professor Emeritus Linguistics Derek Bickerton
Categories: Human behavior
Type: BOOK - Published: 1995-08-01 - Publisher:

According to Bickerton, the behavioral sciences have failed to give an adequate account of human nature at least partly because of the conjunction and mutual reinforcement of two widespread beliefs: that language is simply a means of communication and that human intelligence is the result of the rapid growth and
Language and Human Behavior
Language: en
Pages: 281
Authors: Shahrzad Mahootian, Lewis Gebhardt
Categories: Human evolution
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-08-29 - Publisher:

"This introductory level collection of original readings explores the relationship between language and human social behavior from an applied linguistics perspective."--Introduction.