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Language, Evolution, and the Brain

City University of Hong Kong Press , English

A number of research groups around the world have begun to study how the brain acquires and processes language, but we still know comparatively little about it. Many such groups work on very specific, often narrow, problems. This approach is certainly necessary, but a broad perspective can be helpful, if not essential, too.

This volume consists of an important collection of papers presented at the Seminar on Language, Evolution, and the Brain (SLEB), hosted by the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Kyoto, Japan, bringing together distinguished researchers with background in cognitive science, anthropology, linguistics, robotics, physics, etc. Major topics discussed here include:

1/Creoles and pidgins, and their implications regarding language evolution.
2/ Quantitative analysis and modeling of various aspects of language evolution, including the evolution of lexical items and color terms, the emergence of linguistics categories, and the dynamics of language competition.
3/ The evolution of the human brain, and how that relates to language evolution.
4/ The evolution and the role of mirror neurons in both humans and non-humans.
5/ Evidence that the influence of language on color perception (an example of the Whorf Effect) is stronger for the right visual field than the left.

This volume provides a multi-faceted discussion of how language evolves and shapes the brain that may entice university students and researchers to delve into this field with more background and curiosity.

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