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Hardcover | $57.00 Short | £47.95 | 560 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 93 b&w illus. | March 2013 | ISBN: 9780262018609
Paperback | $34.00 Short | £27.95 | 560 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 93 b&w illus. | February 2016 | ISBN: 9780262528849
eBook | $24.00 Short | March 2013 | ISBN: 9780262313810
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Birdsong, Speech, and Language

Exploring the Evolution of Mind and Brain


Scholars have long been captivated by the parallels between birdsong and human speech and language. In this book, leading scholars draw on the latest research to explore what birdsong can tell us about the biology of human speech and language and the consequences for evolutionary biology. After outlining the basic issues involved in the study of both language and evolution, the contributors compare birdsong and language in terms of acquisition, recursion, and core structural properties, and then examine the neurobiology of song and speech, genomic factors, and the emergence and evolution of language.

Hermann Ackermann, Gabriël J.L. Beckers, Robert C. Berwick, Johan J. Bolhuis, Noam Chomsky, Frank Eisner, Martin Everaert, Michale S. Fee, Olga Fehér, Simon E. Fisher, W. Tecumseh Fitch, Jonathan B. Fritz, Sharon M.H. Gobes, Riny Huijbregts, Eric Jarvis, Robert Lachlan, Ann Law, Michael A. Long, Gary F. Marcus, Carolyn McGettigan, Daniel Mietchen, Richard Mooney, Sanne Moorman, Kazuo Okanoya, Christophe Pallier, Irene M. Pepperberg, Jonathan F. Prather, Franck Ramus, Eric Reuland, Constance Scharff, Sophie K. Scott, Neil Smith, Ofer Tchernichovski, Carel ten Cate, Christopher K. Thompson, Frank Wijnen, Moira Yip, Wolfram Ziegler, Willem Zuidema

About the Editors

Johan J. Bolhuis is Professor of Cognitive Neurobiology at Utrecht University.

Martin Everaert is Professor of Linguistics at Utrecht University.


“Evaluating the book as a whole, it is simply a splendid piece of scholarship.”—Darcy Sperlich, The Linguist List


“This book is devoted to a topic—birdsong and human speech—that is of interest to evolutionary biologists and to students of human language, as well as to the general reader. Both humans and birds produce and react to acoustic signals, but they do so in ways that have some similarities and many obvious differences. The authors of the different chapters are the world’s leading experts on the topics they discuss, and their chapters contribute information, of which much is totally new and of obvious importance.”
Morris Halle, Institute Professor and Professor of Linguistics, Emeritus, MIT