The origins of language in teaching
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I introduce seven criteria for determining the validity of competing theories for the original function of language. I go on to present a novel explanation that meets all the criteria: language originally evolved to teach kin. I suggest that the use of symbols subsequently generated evolutionary feedback at two levels, in the form of self-modified selection pressures that favored structures in the mind that functioned to manipulate and use symbols with efficiency, and cultural selection on languages for learnability.
Laland , K N 2017 , ' The origins of language in teaching ' Psychonomic Bulletin & Review , vol 24 , no. 1 , pp. 225-231 . DOI: 10.3758/s13423-016-1077-7
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
© The Author(s) 2016. This is an Open Access article which is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Research supported in part by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
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