Research output

Chapter (in Edited Book) ()

From metaphor to symbols and grammar: the cumulative cultural evolution of language

Citation
Smith ADM & Höfler S (2017) From metaphor to symbols and grammar: the cumulative cultural evolution of language. In: Power C, Finnegan M, Callan H (ed.). Human Origins: contributions from social anthropology. Methodology & History in Anthropology, 30, Berghahn, pp. 153-179.

Abstract
We suggest that there a common explanation for the emergence of symbolism and the emergence of grammatical structures; both are products of the same cognitive and cultural mechanisms, which have been at the foundation of all human communication from its prelinguistic beginnings to the present day. We argue that the capacity for figurative use witnessed in the creation of novel metaphors plays a crucial part in this process, which underpins a cultural origin for language from these fundamental cognitive properties.

Keywords
metaphor; language evolution; symbols; grammaticalisation; cultural evolution; ostensive-inferential communication; ratchet effect

StatusPublished
EditorPower C, Finnegan M, Callan H
AuthorsSmith Andrew D M, Höfler Stefan
Title of seriesMethodology & History in Anthropology
Number in series30
Publication date2017
URLhttp://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/PowerHuman#toc
PublisherBerghahn
ISBN 978-1-78533-426-9
eISBN 978-1-78533-379-8
LanguageEnglish
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