Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Prehistory of Language$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rudolf Botha and Chris Knight

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 13 November 2018

Cultural niche construction: evolution's cradle of language *

Cultural niche construction: evolution's cradle of language *

Chapter:
(p.99) 6 Cultural niche construction: evolution's cradle of language*
Source:
The Prehistory of Language
Author(s):

John Odling‐Smee

Kevin N. Laland

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199545872.003.0006

Standard evolutionary theory is highly successful, based as it is on solid mathematical foundations and a rich empirical tradition, constantly renewed by exchanges of hypotheses and data among diverse researchers. Yet, despite its successes, it does not provide a satisfactory basis for understanding human evolution. Primarily, this is because standard evolutionary theory's assumptions limit what it can explain. Significantly, it largely neglects the role of niche-construction in evolution. As a result, it has inadvertently erected conceptual barriers that make it difficult to integrate evolutionary biology with several neighboring disciplines, including developmental biology, ecosystem-level ecology, and the human sciences. This chapter describes how niche construction can usefully be regarded as a process which, combined with established evolutionary processes, improves understanding of human evolution. By integrating human niche construction with gene-culture co-evolutionary theory, an evolutionary framework to explore the evolution of language is developed.

Keywords:   evolutionary theory, language development, language capacity, niche construction, evolutionary process

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .