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The Talking Ape: How Language Evolved Paperback – Jun 23 2009
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`Review from previous edition Robbins Burling does a superb job of explaining just what language is and how it might have originated. This is one of those popular science books that just reads itself - although Burling does use a little jargon, he employs it sparingly, and with careful explanation. The text along the way is easy to follow and the arguments are absolutely fascinating... A delightful book for anyone interested in language or the development of the human mind. Popular Science' Popular Science
A great book ... one of the most approachable books on the development of human language available. Oxbow
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A word of warning: His writing style is very dry, even by academic standards, so the book is actually very boring, though I recommend finishing it, as the ideas are good and relevant.
There is a major drawback in this book: It is unforgivable that, of all people, a linguist, misuses terminology such as "digital" and "analog" over and over again, to mean discreet and continuous. These terms come from electronics and mean, in order, "numerical" and "by analogy". Information is not digital unless it is described by numbers, unlike words; and not all analog systems and devices are continuous.
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