Language: The missing selection pressure

Jean-Louis Dessalles



Human beings are talkative. What advantage did their ancestors find in communicating so much? Numerous authors consider this advantage to be “obvious” and “enormous”. If so, the problem of the evolutionary emergence of language amounts to explaining why none of the other primate species evolved anything even remotely similar to language. I propose to reverse the picture. On closer examination, language resembles a losing strategy. Competing for providing other individuals with information, sometimes striving to be heard, makes apparently no sense within a Darwinian framework. At face value, language as we can observe it should never have existed or should have been counter-selected. In other words, the selection pressure that led to language is still missing. The solution I propose consists in regarding language as a social signaling device that developed in a context of generalized insecurity that is unique to our species. By talking, individuals advertise their alertness and their ability to get informed. This hypothesis is shown to be compatible with many characteristics of language that otherwise are left unexplained.


altruism; conversation; evolution; language; relevance; social display; social signals

Full Text:



Agar, M. (2005). Telling it like you think it might be: Narrative, linguistic anthropology, and the complex organization. Emergence: Complexity & Organization, 7 (3), 23–34.

Aiello, L. C. (1997). Brains and guts in human evolution: The expensive tissue hypothesis. Brazilian Journal of Genetics, 20 (1), 141–148.

Allott, R. (1992). The motor theory of language: origin and function. In J. Wind, B. Chiarelli, B. Bichakjian, A. Nocentini & A. Jonker (Eds.), Language origin: a multidisciplinary approach, 105–119. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Arbib, M. A. (2005). From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28 (2), 105–124.

Ariely, D. (2008). Predictably irrational – The hidden forces that shape our decisions. Harper Collins, ed. 2010.

Aries, E. J. & Johnson, F. L. (1983). Close friendship in adulthood: Conversational content between same-sex friends. Sex Roles, 9 (12), 1183-1196.

Arnold, K. & Zuberbühler, K. (2006). Semantic combinations in primate calls. Nature, 441, 303.

Austin, J. L. (1962). How to do things with words. Oxford University Press.

Barclay, P. (2011). Competitive helping increases with the size of biological markets and invades defection. Journal of Theoretical Biology 281 (1). 47–55.

Baron-Cohen, S. (1999). The evolution of a theory of mind. In M. C. Corballis & S. E. G. Lea (Eds.), The descent of mind, 261–277. Oxford University Press.

Baumeister, R. F. & Vohs, K. D. (2002). The collective invention of language to access the universe of possible ideas. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25 (6), 675–676.

Berwick, R. C. & Chomsky, N. (2015). Why only us: Language and evolution. M.I.T. Press.

Bickerton, D. (1990). Language and species. University of Chicago Press.

Bickerton, D. (1995). Language and human behavior. University of Washington Press.

Bickerton, D. (2009). Adam's tongue – How humans made language, how language made humans. Hill & Wang.

Bingham, P. M. (2001). Human evolution and human history: A complete theory. Evolutionary Anthropology, 9 (6), 248–257.<248::AID-EVAN1003>3.0.CO;2-X

Blackmore, S. (1999). The meme machine. Oxford University Press.

Bliege Bird, R. & Smith, E. A. (2005). Signaling theory, strategic interaction, and symbolic capital. Current Anthropology, 46 (2), 221–248.

Blythe, R. A. & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2014). The origins of combinatorial communication. In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn & H. Cornish (Eds.), The evolution of language – Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (Evolang-X – Vienna), 393–394. World Scientific.

Boehm, C. (1999). Hierarchy in the forest: The evolution of egalitarian behavior. Harvard University Press.

Bolhuis, J. J., Tattersall, I., Chomsky, N. & Berwick, R. C. (2014). How Could Language Have Evolved? PLoS Biology, 12 (8), e1001934.

Bradshaw, J. L. (1997). Human evolution: A neuropsychological perspective. Psychology Press.

Brinck, I. (2004). Towards an explanation of the evolution of language. Coevolution of Language and Theory of Mind. Interdisciplines: Electronic Conference.

Brinck, I. & Gärdenfors, P. (2003). Co-operation and communication in apes and humans. Mind and Language, 18 (5), 484-–501.

Briscoe, T. (2006). Language learning, power laws, and sexual selection. Mind & Society, 7 (1), 65–76.

Burling, R. (1986). The selective advantage of complex language. Ethology and Sociobiology, 7 (1), 1–16.

Burling, R. (2005). The talking ape: How language evolved. Oxford University Press.

Carpenter, M., Nagell, K. & Tomasello, M. (1998). Social cognition, joint attention, and communicative competence from 9 to 15 months of age. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 63 (4), 1–143.

Carruthers, P. (1996). Language, thought and consciousness. Cambridge University Press.

Castro, L., Medina, A. & Toro, M. A. (2004). Hominid cultural transmission and the evolution of language. Biology and Philosophy, 19, 721–737.

Cheney, D. L. & Seyfarth, R. M. (2005). Constraints and preadaptations in the earliest stages of language evolution. Linguistic Review, 22, 135–159.

Choi, J.-K. & Bowles, S. (2007). The coevolution of parochial altruism and war. Science, 318, 636–640.

Chomsky, N. (1975). Reflections on language. Pantheon Books.

Chomsky, N. (1982). The generative enterprise revisited: discussions with Riny Huybregts, Henk van Riemsdijk, Naoki Fukui and Mihoko Zushi. Foris Publications.

Chomsky, N. (1995). The minimalist program. MIT Press.

Chomsky, N. (2002). On nature and language. Cambridge University Press.

Christiansen, M. H. & Chater, N. (2008). Language as shaped by the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31 (5), 489–509.

Christiansen, M. H., Dale, R. A. C., Ellefson, M. R. & Conway, C. M. (2002). The role of sequential learning in language evolution: Computational and experimental studies. In A. Cangelosi & D. Parisi (Eds.), Simulating the evolution of language, 165–187. London: Springer Verlag.

Christiansen, M. H. & Ellefson, M. R. (2002). Linguistic adaptation without linguistic constraints: The role of sequential learning in language evolution. In A. Wray (Ed.), The transition to language, 335–358. Oxford University Press.

Christiansen, M. H. & Kirby, S. (2003a). Language evolution: consensus and controversies. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 7 (7), 300–307.

Christiansen, M. H. & Kirby, S. (2003b). Language evolution: The hardest problem in science? In M. H. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution, 1–15. Oxford University Press.

Corballis, M. C. (2014). The Gradual Evolution of Language. Humana.Mente, 27, 39–60.

Corballis, M. C. & Suddendorf, T. (2007). Memory, time and language. In C. Pasternak (Ed.), What makes us human, 17–36. Oneworld.

Crespi, B. J. (2008). Language unbound: genomic conflict and psychosis in the origin of modern humans. In P. d'Ettorre & D. P. Hughes (Eds.), Sociobiology of communication: an interdisciplinary perspective, 225–248. Oxford University Press.

Darwin, C. (1809–1882 (1859)). On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. John Murray.

Deacon, T. W. (1997). The symbolic species. W.W. Norton & Co.

De Duve, C. (1995). Vital dust: life as a cosmic imperative. BasicBooks.

Dessalles, J.-L. (1996). L'ordinateur génétique. Hermes Science.

Dessalles, J.-L. (1998). Altruism, status, and the origin of relevance. In J. R. Hurford, M. Studdert-Kennedy & C. Knight (Eds.), Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, 130–147. Cambridge University Press.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2007a). Storing events to retell them (Commentary on Suddendorf and Corballis: 'The evolution of foresight'). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30 (3), 321–322.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2007b [2000]). Why we talk - The evolutionary origins of language. Oxford University Press. (English edition of 'Aux origines du langage', Hermes-Sciences, 2000 (transl. James Grieve)).

Dessalles, J.-L. (2011a). Reasoning as a lie detection device (Commentary on Mercier and Sperber:'Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory'). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34 (2), 76–77.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2011b). Sharing cognitive dissonance as a way to reach social harmony. Social Science Information, 50 (1), 116–127.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2013). Algorithmic simplicity and relevance. In D. L. Dowe (Ed.), Algorithmic probability and friends - LNAI 7070, 119–130. Springer.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2014). Optimal Investment in Social Signals. Evolution, 68 (6), 1640–1650.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2015). From conceptual spaces to predicates. In F. Zenker & P. Gärdenfors (Eds.), Applications of conceptual spaces: The case for geometric knowledge representation, 17–31. Springer.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2016). A Cognitive Approach to Relevant Argument Generation. In M. Baldoni, C. Baroglio, F. Bex, T. D. Bui, F. Grasso & et al. (Eds.), Principles and ractice of multi-agent systems, LNAI 9935, 3–15. Springer.

Dessalles, J.-L. (2017). Conversational topic connectedness predicted by Simplicity Theory. In G. Gunzelmann, A. Howes, T. Tenbrink & E. Davelaar (Eds.), Proceedings of the 39th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 1914–1919. Cognitive Science Society.

Deutscher, G. (2005). The unfolding of language – An evolutionary tour of mankind's greatest invention. Henry Holt and Cy, ed. 2006.

Donald, M. (1999). Preconditions for the evolution of protolanguages. In M. C. Corballis & S. E. G. Lea (Eds.), The descent of mind, 138–154. Oxford University Press.

Donald, M. (1999). Preconditions for the evolution of a protolanguage. In M. C. Corballis & S. E. G. Lea (Eds.), The descent of mind: Psychological perspectives on hominid evolution, 138–154. Oxford University Press.

Dor, D. (2015). The instruction of imagination: Language as a social communication technology. Oxford University Press.

Douvan, E. A. M. & Adelson, J. (1966). The adolescent experience. Wiley.

Dunbar, R. I. M. (1996). Grooming, gossip, and the evolution of language. Harvard University Press.

Dunbar, R. I. M. (1998). Theory of mind and the evolution of language. In J. R. Hurford, M. Studdert-Kennedy & C. Knight (Eds.), Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, 92–110. Cambridge University Press.

Dunbar, R. I. M. (2003). The origin and subsequent evolution of language. In M. H. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution, 219–234. Oxford University Press.

Dunbar, R. I. M., Duncan, N. & Marriott, A. (1997). Human conversational behaviour. Human Nature, 8 (3), 231–246.

Dunbar, R. I. M., Duncan, N. & Nettle, D. (1995). Size and structure of freely forming conversational groups. Human nature, 6 (1), 67–78.

Eagle, N., Pentland, A. & Lazer, D. (2009). Inferring friendship network structure by using mobile phone data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (36), 15274–15278.

Eggins, S. & Slade, D. (1997). Analysing casual conversation. Equinox.

Eldredge, N. & Gould, S. J. (1972). Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyletic gradualism. In T. J. M. Schopf (Ed.), Models in Paleobiology, 82–115. Freeman and Cooper.

Emsley, J. (2006). The elements of murder: a history of poison. Oxford University Press.

Estes, S. & Arnold, S. J. (2007). Resolving the paradox of stasis: models with stabilizing selection explain evolutionary divergence on all timescales. The American naturalist, 169 (2), 227–244.

Fitch, W. T. (2004). Evolving honest communication systems: Kin selection and “mother tongues”. In D. K. Oller & U. Griebel (Eds.), The evolution of communication systems: a comparative approach, 275–296. MIT Press.

Fodor, J. A. (1975). The language of thought. Havard University Press.

Fodor, J. A. (1998). Concepts: where cognitive science went wrong. Clarendon Press.

Formigari, L. (1993). Signs, science and politics: Philosophies of language in Europe, 1700–1830. John Benjamins Publishing.

Fry, D. P. & Söderberg, P. (2013). Lethal aggression in mobile forager bands and implications for the origins of war. Science, 341 (6143), 270–273.

Gärdenfors, P. (2004). Cooperation and the evolution of symbolic communication. In D. K. Oller & U. Griebel (Eds.), The evolution of communication systems: a comparative approach, 237–256. MIT Press.

Gärdenfors, P. & Warglien, M. (2006). Cooperation, conceptual spaces and the evolution of semantics. In P. Vogt, Y. Sugita, E. Tuci & C. Nehaniv (Eds.), Symbol grounding and beyond, 16-30. Berlin: Springer.

Ghadakpour, L. (2003). Le système conceptuel, à l'interface entre le langage, le raisonnement et l'espace qualitatif: vers un modèle de représentations éphémères. Thèse de doctorat, Ecole Polytechnique.

Ghazanfar, A. A. & Takahashi, D. Y. (2014). The evolution of speech: vision, rhythm, cooperation. Trends in cognitive sciences, 18 (10), 543–553.

Gibson, K. R. (1994). Continuity theories of human language origins versus the Lieberman model. Language & communication, 14 (1), 97–114.

Gintis, H., Smith, E. A. & Bowles, S. (2001). Costly Signaling and Cooperation. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 213, 103–119.

Goldberg, D. E. (1989). Genetic algorithms in search, optimization and machine learning. Addison Wesley Publishing Company.

Gómez, J. M., Verdú, M., González-Megías, A. & Méndez, M. (2016). The phylogenetic roots of human lethal violence. Nature, 538 (7624), 233–237.

Gould, S. J. (1996). Full house – The spread of excellence from Plato to Darwin. Three Rivers Press.

Gould, S. J. & Lewontin, R. C. (1979). The spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian program: a critique of the adaptationist program. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, 205, 281–288.

Goulden, R., Nation, P. & Read, J. (1990). How large can a receptive vocabulary be? Applied linguistics, 11 (4), 341–363.

Grafen, A. (1990). Biological signals as handicaps. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 144, 517–546.

Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics, vol. III: Speech acts, 41–58. Academic Press.

Györi, G. (1997). Cognitive archaeology: a look at evolution outside and inside language. In R. Blench & M. Spriggs (Eds.), Archaeology and language I – Theoretical and methodological orientations, 43–52. Routledge.

Hammerstein, P. (2003). Genetic and cultural evolution of cooperation. MIT Press.

Hansen, T. F. (1997). Stabilizing selection and the comparative analysis of adaptation. Evolution, 51 (5), 1341–1351.

Hare, B. & Tomasello, M. (2004). Chimpanzees are more skilful in competitive than in cooperative cognitive tasks. Animal Behaviour, 68 (3), 571–581.

Hawkes, K. (1991). Showing off: tests of another hypothesis about men's foraging goals. Ethology and Sociobiology, 11, 29–54.

Hawkes, K. & Bliege Bird, R. (2002). Showing off, handicap signaling, and the evolution of men's work. Evolutionary Anthropology, 11 (2), 58–67.

Henrich, J. & Gil-White, F. J. (2000). The evolution of prestige - Freely conferred deference as a mechanism for enhancing the benefits of cultural transmission. In J. Cartwright (Ed.), Evolution and Human Behavior, 165–196. MIT Press.

Hill, K. R., Hurtado, A. M. & Walker, R. S. (2007). High adult mortality among Hiwi hunter-gatherers: Implications for human evolution. Journal of Human Evolution, 52, 443–454.

Hill, K. R., Walker, R. S., Božižicevic, M., Eder, J., Headland, T., Hewlett, B., Hurtado, A. M. & Marlowe, F., Wiessner, P., Wood, B. (2011). Co-residence patterns in hunter-gatherer societies show unique human social structure. Science, 331 (6022), 1286–1289.

Holland, J. H. (1975). Adaptation in natural and artificial systems. The University of Michigan Press.

Hurford, J. R. (1991a). Linguistics. In M. Maxwell (Ed.), The Sociobiological Imagination, 283–301. State University of New York Press.

Hurford, J. R. (1991b). The evolution of the critical period for language acquisition. Cognition, 40 (3), 159–201.

Hurford, J. (1999). The evolution of language and languages. In R. I. M. Dunbar, C. Knight & C. Power (Eds.), The evolution of culture – An interdisciplinary view, 173–193. Rutgers University Press.

Hurford, J. R. (2003a). The language mosaic and its evolution. In M. H. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution, 38–57. Oxford University Press.

Hurford, J. R. (2003b). The neural basis of predicate-argument structure. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 26 (3), 261–283.

Hurford, J. R. (2007). The origins of meaning. Oxford University Press.

Jablonka, E., Ginsburg, S. & Dor, D. (2012). The co-evolution of language and emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367 (1599), 2152–2159.

Jerison, H. (1973). Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence. Academic Press.

King, B. J. (1996). Syntax and language origins. Language & communication, 16 (2), 193–203.

Kirby, S. (2000). Syntax without natural selection: how compositionality emerges from a vocabulary in a population of learners. In C. Knight, M. Studdert-Kennedy & J. R. Hurford (Eds.), The evolutionary emergence of language: social function and the origins of linguistic form, 303–323. Cambridge University Press.

Knight, C. (1998). Ritual/speech coevolution: a solution to the problem of deception. In J. R. Hurford, M. Studdert-Kennedy & C. Knight (Eds.), Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, 68–91. Cambridge University Press.

Knight, C. (2000). From ‘nursing poke’ to syntactical speech. In J.-L. Dessalles & L. Ghadakpour (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference on the Evolution of Language, 140–143. ENST.

Knight, C. (2008). Language co-evolved with the rule of law. Mind & Society, 7, 109–128.

Knight, C. (2018). Pressure for trust-based efficiency shaped the evolution of language. Evolang-12, 218–229. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika.

Kummer, H. (1997). In quest of the sacred baboon: A scientist's journey. Princeton University Press.

Kwak, H., Lee, C., Park, H. & Moon, S. (2010). What is Twitter, a social network or a news media? Proceedings of the 19th International World Wide Web (WWW) Conference, 591–600. ACM.

Labov, W. & Fanshel, D. (1977). Therapeutic discourse. Academic Press.

Lieberman, P. (1992). On the evolution of human language. In J. A. Hawkins & M. Gell-Mann (Eds.), The evolution of human languages, 21–47. Santa Fe Institute – Proceedings Volume XI – Addison-Wesley.

Locke, J. L. (2005). Looking for, looking at: social control, honest signals and intimate experience in human evolution and history. In P. K. McGregor (Ed.), Animal Communication Networks, 416–441. Cambridge University Press.

Locke, J. L. (2010). Eavesdropping: An intimate history. Oxford University Press.

Lyle, H. F. & Smith, E. A. (2014). The reputational and social network benefits of prosociality in an Andean community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (13), 4820–4825.

Mahr, J. B. & Csibra, G. (2018). Why do we remember? The communicative function of episodic memory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 41 (e1), 1–63.

Maklakov, A. A. (2002). Snake-directed mobbing in a cooperative breeder: Anti-predator behaviour or self-advertisement for the formation of dispersal coalitions? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 52, 372–378.

Marlowe, F. W. (2005). Hunter-gatherers and human evolution. Evolutionary anthropology, 14 (2), 54–67.

Mehl, M. R. & Pennebaker, J. W. (2003). The sounds of social life: A psychometric analysis of students' daily social environments and natural conversations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84 (4), 857–870.

Mehl, M. R., Vazire, S., Ramírez-Esparza, N., Slatcher, R. B. & Pennebaker, J. W. (2007). Are women really more talkative than men? Science, 317, 82.

Meilijson, S. R., Kasher, A. & Elizur, A. (2004). Language performance in chronic schizophrenia - a pragmatic approach. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47 (3), 695–713.

Mercier, H. & Sperber, D. (2011). Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34 (2), 57–74.

Miller, G. F. (2000). The mating mind. Doubleday.

Nesse, R. (2009). Social selection and the origins of culture. In M. Schaller, A. Norenzayan & S. J. Heine (Eds.), Evolution, culture and the human mind, 137–150. Psychology Press.

Nettle, D. (2006). Language: Costs and benefits of a specialised system for social information transmission. In J. C. K. Wells, S. Strickland & K. Laland (Eds.), Social information transmission and human biology, 137–152. CRC Press.

Noble, W. & Davidson, I. (1996). Human evolution, language and mind. Cambridge University Press.

Noë, R. & Hammerstein, P. (1995). Biological markets. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 10 (8), 336–339.

Norrick, N. R. (2000). Conversational narrative: storytelling in everyday talk. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Nowak, M. A. (2006). Five rules for the evolution of cooperation. Science, 314, 1560–1563.

Nowak, M. A. & Komarova, N. L. (2001). Towards an evolutionary theory of language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 5 (7), 288–295.

Nowak, M. A. & Sigmund, K. (2005). Evolution of indirect reciprocity. Nature, 437 (27), 1291–1298.

Ochs, E., Taylor, C., Rudolph, D. & Smith, R. (1992). Storytelling as a theory-building activity. Discourse Processes, 15, 37–72.

Ouattara, K., Lemasson, A. & Zuberbühler, K. (2009). Campbell's monkeys concatenate vocalizations into context-specific call sequences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106 (51), 22026–22031.

Palmer, C. T. & Pomianek, C. N. (2007). Applying signaling theory to traditional cultural rituals – The example of Newfoundland mumming. Human Nature, 18, 295–312.

Penn, D., Holyoak, K. J. & Povinelli, D. J. (2008). Darwin's mistake: Explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31, 109–178.,%20Holyoak,%20Povinelli.2008.pdf

Pika, S. & Liebal, K. (2006). Differences and similarities between the natural gestural communication of the great apes and human children. In A. Cangelosi, A. D. M. Smith & K. Smith (Eds.), The evolution of language – Proceedings of the 6th International Conference (Evolang6), 267–274. World Scientific.

Pinker, S. (1994). The language instinct - How the mind creates language. Harper Perennial, ed. 1995.

Pinker, S. (2003). Language as an adaptation to the cognitive niche. In M. H. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution, 16–37. Oxford University Press.

Pinker, S. & Bloom, P. (1990). Natural language and natural selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 13 (4), 707–784.

Polanyi, L. (1979). So what's the point? Semiotica, 25 (3), 207–241.

Power, C. (1998). Old wives'tales: the gossip hypothesis and the reliability of cheap signals. In J. R. Hurford, M. Studdert-Kennedy & C. Knight (Eds.), Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, 111–129. Cambridge University Press.

Premack, D. (1985). “Gavagai!” or the future history of the animal language controversy. Cognition, 19 (3), 207–296.

Reboul, A. (2007). Langage et cognition humaine. Presses Universitaires de Grenoble.

Redhead, G. & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2013). The functions of language: An experimental study. Evolutionary Psychology, 11 (4), 845–854.

Reio Jr., T. G., Petrosko, J. M., Wiswell, A. K. & Thongsukmag, J. (2006). The measurement and conceptualization of curiosity. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 167 (2), 117–135.

Richerson, P. J. & Boyd, R. (2005). Not by genes alone - How culture transformed human evolution. The University of Chicago Press.

Rimé, B. (2005). Le partage social des émotions. PUF.

Roberts, G. (1998). Competitive altruism: from reciprocity to the handicap principle. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B. 265, 427–431.

Ritt, N. (2004). Selfish sounds and linguistic evolution – A Darwinian approach to language change. Cambridge University Press.

Sala, N., Arsuaga, J. L. & Pantoja-Pérez, A. (2015). Lethal interpersonal violence in the Middle Pleistocene. PloS one, 10 (5).

Santibáñez, C. (2015). Steps Towards an Evolutionary Account of Argumentative Competence. Informal Logic, 35 (2), 167–182.

Savage-Rumbaugh, E. S. & Lewin, R. (1994). Kanzi: the ape at the brink of the human mind. John Wiley & Sons.

Schank, R. C. (1979). Interestingness: controlling inferences. Artificial Intelligence, 12 (3), 273–297.

Schoenemann, P. T. (2005). Conceptual complexity and the brain: Understanding language origins. In W. S. Wang & J. W. Minett (Eds.), Language acquisition, change and emergence: Essays in evolutionary linguistics, 47–94. City University of Hong Kong Press.

Schoenemann, P. T. (2006). Evolution of the size and functional areas of the human brain. Annual Review of Anthropology, 35, 379–406.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2007). The social evolution of language, and the language of social evolution. Evolutionary Psychology, 5 (4), 740–753.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2011). Evolutionarily Stable Communication and Pragmatics. In A. Benz, C. Ebert, G. Jäger & R. van Rooij (Eds.), Language, games, and evolution: Trends in current research on language and game theory, 117–133. Springer.

Searle, J. R. (1969). Speech Acts: An essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge University Press.

Sereno, M. I. (2005). Language origins without the semantic urge. Cognitive Science Online, 3, 1–12.

Skyrms, B. (2004). The stag hunt and the evolution of social structure. Cambridge University Press.

Slocombe, K. E. & Zuberbühler, K. (2005). Functionally referential communication in a chimpanzee. Current Biology, 15, 1779–1784.

Smith, E. A. (2010). Communication and collective action: language and the evolution of human cooperation. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31 (4), 231–245.

Snowdon, C. T. (2001). From primate communication to human language. In F. B. M. de Waal (Ed.), Tree of origin: what primate behavior can tell us about human social evolution, 193–227. Harvard University Press.

Sperber, D. (2000). Metarepresentations in an evolutionary perspective. In D. Sperber (Ed.), Metarepresentations: A multidisciplinary perspective, 117–137. Oxford University Press.

Sperber, D. & Origgi, G. (2005). A pragmatic perspective on the evolution of language. Alice V. and David H. Morris International Symposium on Language and Cognition. Stony Brook University.

Steels, L. (2000). Mirror neurons and the action theory of language origins. Paper presented at Architectures of the Mind, Architectures of the Brain Conference.

Sterelny, K. (2006). Language, modularity and evolution. In G. Macdonald & D. Papineau (Eds.), Teleosemantics, 23–41. Oxford University Press.

Sterelny, K. (2012). The evolved apprentice. MIT press.

Sueur, C., King, A. J., Conradt, L., Kerth, G., Lusseau, D. & et al., (2011). Collective decision-making and fission-fusion dynamics: A conceptual framework. Oikos, 120 (11), 1608–1617.

Sumpter, D. J. T. & Brännström, Å. (2008). Synergy in social communication. In P. d'Ettorre & D. P. Hughes (Eds.), Sociobiology of communication: an interdisciplinary perspective, 191–208. Oxford University Press.

Szathmáry, E. & Számadó, S. (2008). Language: A social history of words. Nature, 456, 40–41.

Számadó, S. & Szathmáry, E. (2006). Selective scenarios for the emergence of natural language. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 21 (10), 555–561.

Tallerman, M. (2014). Is the Syntax Rubicon more of a mirage? In E. A. Cartmill, S. Roberts, H. Lyn & H. Cornish (Eds.), The evolution of language – Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (Evolang-X – Vienna), 319–326. World Scientific.

Tannen, D. (1984). Conversational style – Analyzing talk among friends. Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Tannen, D. (1994). Gender & discourse - Featuring a new essay on talk at work. New York: Oxford University Press, ed. 1996.

Tattersall, I. (2001). Evolution, genes, and behavior. Zygon, 36 (4), 657–666.

Tattersall, I. (2014). Language as a critical factor in the emergence of human cognition. Humana.Mente, 27, 181–195.

Thompson, J. N. (1998). Rapid evolution as an ecological process. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 13 (8), 329–332.

Tomasello, M. (1999a). The cultural origins of human cognition. Harvard University Press.

Tomasello, M. (1999b). The human adaptation for culture. Annual Review of Anthropology, 28, 509–529.

Tomasello, M. (2003). On the different origins of symbols and grammar. In M. H. Christiansen & S. Kirby (Eds.), Language evolution, 94–110. Oxford University Press.

Tomasello, M. (2006). Why don't apes point? In N. J. Enfield & S. C. Levinson (Eds.), Roots of human sociality: Culture, cognition and interaction, 506–524. Berg Publishers.

Van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of critical discourse analysis. Discourse and Society, 4(2), 249–283.

Van Valin, R. D. & LaPolla, R. J. (1997). Syntax. Structure, meaning and function. Cambridge University Press.

Verbrugge, L. M. (1977). The structure of adult friendship choices. Social Forces, 56 (2), 576–597.

Vyshedskiy, A. (2008). On the origin of the human mind. MobileReference, ed. 2014.

Wacewicz, S. (2016). A contemporary look at language origins. AVANT, VI (2), 68–81.

Wacewicz, S. & Zywiczynski, P. (2018). Language origins: Fitness consequences, platform of trust, cooperation, and turn-taking. Interaction Studies, 19 (1), 167-182.

Wildgen, W. (2004). The evolution of human language: scenarios, principles, and cultural dynamics. John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Wilkins, W. K. & Wakefield, J. (1995). Brains evolution and neurolinguistic preconditions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 18 (1), 161–182.

Wilson, D. S. & Sober, E. (1994). Reintroducing group selection to the human behavioral sciences. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 17, 585–654.

Woodburn, J. (1982). Egalitarian societies. Man, 17, 431–451.

Worden, R. (1998). The evolution of language from social intelligence. In J. R. Hurford, M. Studdert-Kennedy & C. Knight (Eds.), Approaches to the evolution of language: Social and cognitive bases, 148–166. Cambridge University Press.

Wrangham, R. W., Wilson, M. L. & Muller, M. N. (2006). Comparative rates of violence in chimpanzees and humans. Primates, 47 (1), 14–26.

Zahavi, A. (1975). Mate selection – A selection for a handicap. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 53, 205–214.

Zahavi, A. & Zahavi, A. (1997). The handicap principle. Oxford University Press.

Zlatev, J. (2014). Human uniqueness, bodily mimesis and the evolution of language. Humana.Mente, 27, 197–219.

Zuberbühler, K. (2006). Alarm calls. In K. Brown (Ed.), Encyclopedia of language and linguistics (2nd ed.), 143–155. Elsevier.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2392-1196 (online)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism