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Publisher's Summary

Mankind has a distinct advantage over other terrestrial species: we talk to one another. But how did we acquire the most advanced form of communication on Earth? Daniel L. Everett, a "bombshell" linguist and "instant folk hero" (Tom Wolfe, Harper's), provides in this sweeping history a comprehensive examination of the evolutionary story of language, from the earliest speaking attempts by hominids to the more than 7,000 languages that exist today.
Although fossil hunters and linguists have brought us closer to unearthing the true origins of language, Daniel Everett's discoveries have upended the contemporary linguistic world, reverberating far beyond academic circles. While conducting field research in the Amazonian rainforest, Everett came across an age-old language nestled amongst a tribe of hunter-gatherers. Challenging long-standing principles in the field, Everett now builds on the theory that language was not intrinsic to our species. In order to truly understand its origins, a more interdisciplinary approach is needed - one that accounts as much for our propensity for culture as it does our biological makeup.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Daniel Everett (P)2018 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Joyce M. Bernheim on 07-27-18

Extremely Thought Provoking

I came to this book as someone who has a post-graduate degree in a European literature and is now deeply immersed in the research on autism. I learned a lot from it and found its main concepts to be entirely consistent with what other disciplines are discovering about social interaction (of which language is but one type). I truly appreciate the efforts of scholars to share the complexities of their fields with lay readers.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 05-10-18

0MG

Words alone cannot do this book justice. If you have a degree in any language, or even speak one, read this book.

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6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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