The shades of social. A discussion of "The social origins of language", ed. Daniel Dor, Chris Knight and Jerome Lewis

Sławomir Wacewicz



Turning to the social dimension has been an influential trend in recent language evolution literature, as documented by e.g. Dunbar et al. (ed. 2014), Scott-Phillips (2014), or Pina and Gontier (ed. 2014). The social origins of language, edited by Daniel Dor, Chris Knight and Jerome Lewis, is of special interest, because rather than just being part of this trend, it aims to redefine the current discourse in language origins research, making it inclusive and “society first”. Collectively, the twenty four chapters of this volume make a powerful statement for a broad, incorporative, “everything counts” approach to language evolution. By demonstrating the relevance to language evolution research of a wide variety of social, cultural and cognitive factors, The social origins of language is potentially – and hopefully – a game changing contribution to this field of study.


language evolution; evolution of language; language origins; social communication; social signaling; cultural evolution

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