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2017
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Evolution of Language

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Humanities (UU)
Course code
S34
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 400
Level
Advanced bachelor level

Humans have ‘language’, animals don’t. In this course we investigate on the basis of what evidence we can make such a claim. What exactly is language so that we can say that animals don’t have a faculty for language? Does language development in humans differ fundamentally from that in other animals, like in chimps? When we compare the development in songbirds and humans, do we find surprising parallels, like the learning of complex patterns of vocalization? Central to this course will be the comparative perspective from evolutionary biology on language.

Human language is complex and results from interacting simpler systems, which each may have had a long evolutionary history of its own. Nevertheless, the way these modules are integrated into a working system has been novel as well as recent. Relevant issues that will be addressed in this course include: uniquely human and/or linguistic; evaluation of core properties of human language from gestural or vocal systems of animal communication; evaluation gradual or saltational and exaptive; the primary function of language as communication or an efficient way of organising cognitive systems.

Tags: language, evolution, communication, human, cognitive system, linguistics

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COURSE LEADER

Kirsten Schutter

TARGET GROUP

No specific background knowledge required. Targeted at BA audience.

COURSE AIM

To allow students to gain an elementary understanding of the issues surrounding language evolution.

STUDY LOAD

Daily 2 1/2 hour session; max one hour homework per day.

FEE

• € 400 - Course + course materials + housing

All Linguistic courses can be combined. If you apply for more than one course, you receive € 50 combination discount per extra course.
This discount will be processed by the course director. If the discount has not been processed please contact the course director.

DISCOUNTS AND COMBINATIONS
» Overview of all available discounts

SCHOLARSHIPS

Utrecht Summer School does not offer scholarships for this course.

MORE INFORMATION

Ileana Grama
T: +31 (0)30 253 6060
E: i.c.grama@uu.nl

» Contact Utrecht Summer School

REGISTRATION

Deadline for registration: 13 August 2017

Application closed