Lecture 5 Body and brain for language. The Origins of Language Jordan Zlatev. Projects. Spell out your main question(s). Make sure that it is relevant to language origins! Define your main terms: “language”, “gesture”, “cognition”, “adaptation”, “culture” – at least provisionally
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Body and brain for language
(evolution does not plan ahead)
More recently: “severe impairment in the selection and sequencing of fine orofacial movements which are necessary for articulation” (:83)
… are all present in H. Neanderthalensis
=> “some type of speech must have been present in our last common ancestor with the Neanderthals, 500,000 years ago or so, though fully human speech with all our articulatory capacity need not be much older than 100,000 years” (:85)
The brain: high metabolic cost and dangerous child birth – what is the evolutionary benefit?
(Rizzolatti et al. 1996)
F5: area in premotor cortex
AIP: anterior intraparietal area
-> And on the basis of behavioral and anatomical data: in apes too!
”…Wernicke’s area as combining capabilities for recognizing protosign and protospeech to support a language-ready brain that is capable of learning signed languages as readily as spoken languages” (Arbib 2005)
BA 44, 45= “Broca”
BA 22, 39, 40= “Wernicke”
Overlap extensively with the “human mirror neuron system” (Arbib 2005; Iacoboni 2005; Decety & Chaminande 2005): in tasks of perception-action matching, imitation, imagination, pantomime…
BA 4, 6 = perception-production of “meaningless syllables” (Wilson et al. 2004)
An extension of control for bodily mimesis to “vocomimesis” and eventually phonology (Zlatev 2008b)