linguistic paper assignment

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Origin of speech

Some scholars argue that human speech derived from natural, instinctive utterances that were shared with some animals, and that languages developed and spread gradually according to various natural laws and processes. Others contend that language is uniquely human, a manifestation of man’s higher nature and an instrument of his reason, that its origin is divine, and its development more akin to an art, than to any purely natural process.

Write a 1200-1500 -word paper based on the course materials and other references addressing the following points. Use at least 3 different references to support your writing.

1.Discuss both positions and present the arguments/evidence for/against them.

2.Are these positions mutually exclusive? (Can we accept both views at the same time?) Why?

3.How do these positions correspond to Teleological explanations of language versus theory of natural selection?

4.Does the ‘genetic source hypothesis’ (e.g. innateness and UG) provide support foreither of these positions? Why?

5.Is it at all possible to discuss the ‘origin of speech’ in totally scientific terms? Why?(You need to make a distinction between scientific methods on the one hand, and interpreting the results of experiments on the other)

Beside our course materials, some useful references for the assignment include:

•Crystal D (2010) Encyclopedia of Language, Chapter 49

•Aitchison J (1996) The Seeds of Speech, Chapter 1

•MacNeilage P (2008) The Origin of Speech, Chapters 3


course materials are in the file, please feel free to contact with me for more questions. please use your own language to cite the course material, citation from course material do not require work citation. Citation from other resources need to be cited in MLA format.

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