CIDRAL Public Lecture: Daniel Everett: 'How Language Began: 60,000 Generations of Humans Talking'
|Dates:||6 November 2018|
|Times:||17:00 - 19:00|
|What is it:||Lecture|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public, Post 16|
This event is part of CIDRAL's Autumn 2018 programme.
Daniel Everett (Professor of Global Studies and Sociology, Bentley University) will deliver a public lecture entitled 'How Language Began: 60,000 Generations of Humans Talking'.
In this lecture I will discuss the evolution of human language from Australopithecus africanus through Homo erectus to Homo sapiens. As in my book, How Language Began: The Story of Humanity’s Greatest Invention (Profile Books, London), I will provide evidence that Homo erectus invented language, as it progressed beyond the evolutionary foundation established in Australopithecus (where by invention I mean a technology that emerges from a culture or cultures.) I will argue that the major threshold leading from mere communication to language was the emergence of culture and, subsequently, symbols in the sense of C.S. Peirce. I will show how slot:filler grammars led to the kinds of grammars we observe today. Further it will be argued that the Chomsky-hierarchy is of little empirical significance in understanding human language and that the concept of an innate universal grammar is largely superfluous to the understanding of the appearance of language approximately 1.9 million years ago.
Travel and Contact Information
Samuel Alexander Lecture Theatre
Samuel Alexander Building