<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Bickerton (Derek) - How Protolanguage Became Language (Theo Todman's Book Collection - Paper Abstracts) </title> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /></head> <BODY> <CENTER> <div id="header"><HR><h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Paper Abstracts</h1><HR></div><A name="Top"></A> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_23/PaperSummary_23244.htm">How Protolanguage Became Language</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/B/Author_Bickerton (Derek).htm">Bickerton (Derek)</a></th></tr> <tr><th>Source: Knight (Etc, Eds) - The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Social Function and the Origins of Linguistic Form</th></tr> <tr><th>Paper - Abstract</th></tr> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=600><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_23/PaperSummary_23244.htm">Paper Summary</A></td><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_23/PaperCitings_23244.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Paper</A></td><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td></tr></TABLE></CENTER></P> <hr><P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><U>Author s Introduction</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1"><li>The present chapter presents the evolution of language as a sequence of three stages. The first stage is the derivation of the basic structure of syntax from a social calculus set up to handle reciprocal altruism (Section 2). The second stage consists of the long delay hypothesised between the birth of protolanguage and the emergence of true language, the cause of this delay being the limited coherence of neural signals in prelinguistic brains (Section 3). The third is a stage of Baldwinian evolution commencing after the emergence of basic syntactic structure and possibly continuing at least until the human diaspora that began approximately ninety thousand years ago (Section 4). In Section 5, some possible objections to these proposals are considered. </li><li>Nothing will be said here about protolanguage, its emergence or the selective pressures that drove that emergence. It will simply be assumed along the lines of previous work (Bickerton 1990, 1995) that between two and three million years ago there developed a structureless protolanguage. Whether this protolanguage originally consisted of signs, (proto)words or a mixture of these is immaterial to the present discussion; it is not unreasonable to suppose, along with Burling (this volume), that at its inception, protolanguage was indeed mixed. For expository convenience it will be assumed in what follows that protolanguage was spoken, but nothing of significance turns on this. The protolanguage vocabulary doubtless increased over time, but its users, for reasons to be discussed, are presumed to have been unable to produce or comprehend utterances of more than four or five units, a limit that might not have been significantly exceeded even in the period immediately prior to the first appearance of true syntax. </li></ol></FONT><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><HR></P><a name="ColourConventions"></a><p><b>Text Colour Conventions (see <A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</b></p><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T10:04" pubdate>02/08/2018 10:04:36</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>