<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Wray (Alison) - Holistic Utterances in Protolanguage: The Link from Primates to Humans (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_23245.htm">Holistic Utterances in Protolanguage: The Link from Primates to Humans</A></th></tr> <tr><th><A HREF = "../../Authors/W/Author_Wray (Alison).htm">Wray (Alison)</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=400><tr><td><A HREF = "../../PaperSummaries/PaperSummary_23/PaperSummary_23245.htm">Paper Summary</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>No account of how human language originated should ignore two fundamental contextualising questions: how was communication achieved before? and what, precisely, is  human language anyway? Both of these apply, irrespective of one s views on whether full human language was qualitatively the same as or different from its precursors, and/or whether it appeared suddenly or evolved gradually into its current state. </li><li>While much of what has been written recently takes some account of what human language might have evolved out of, I think that many problems arise from a general misconception about what full human language consists of today. The position that seems to be taken is the one represented in Figure 17.1. It is generally accepted that primates communicate using highly effective, though limited, holistic noise/gesture systems in which any given  utterance with a meaning takes its identity from the whole, not the sum of meaning-laden parts. Full human language, on the other hand, is standardly portrayed as an analytic, grammar-based system. </li><li>This leaves protolanguage as the forum for the entire transition, one which entails the appearance of arbitrary phonetic representation, lexical reference, phrase structure and morphology. Consequently, there is an uneasy relationship between, on the one hand, the dynamism that needs to be invoked in order to bridge the gap within what is, for some, a very narrow time window, and, on the other, the level of stability that we might prefer to associate with the success of day-to-day interaction over a lengthy period of, relatively speaking, cultural and intellectual stagnation (Gowlett 1992: 353; Mithen 1996: 116). </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 10:04:37</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>