The Truth About Language: What it is and where it came from by Michael C. Corballis
Auckland University Press, 17 APRIL 2017, $39.99
Thursday, April 06, 2017
The Truth About Language
Michael Corballis answers some of the hardest questions in science – where did language come from and why do we like it so much? – with his usual verve and humour.
While birds can chirp and monkeys can chatter, only humans possess the extraordinary power to tell stories and offer explanations, to explainand persuade, to baffle and bullshit that we call language.
How come? Where did language come from? In this book, Michael Corballis takes on what has been called the hardest problem in science.From God to Noam Chomsky, many have suggested that language arose suddenly in a way that cannot be explained through ordinary evolutionary processes. Corballis argues otherwise. He uncovers the precursors of language in the ability of mice and other animals to engage in ‘mental time travel’, the use of gesture by apes, the capacity of chimpanzees to step into the shoes (or paws) of others, and the increasing need for social co-operation as hominins left the forest.