Wendy K. Wilkins
The Oxford Handbook of Language Evolution, 2011
This article reveals the work carried out on evolutionary biology of language that can proceed in two ways such as through an examination of the fossil record and through comparative primate neuroanatomy. The structures in the peri-Sylvian region of the left hemisphere are ...MORE ⇓
This article reveals the work carried out on evolutionary biology of language that can proceed in two ways such as through an examination of the fossil record and through comparative primate neuroanatomy. The structures in the peri-Sylvian region of the left hemisphere are necessary for language. These include Broca's area, the parietal-occipital-temporal junction or POT. The lack of a POT is indicated by the existence of a major sulcal division, the lunate sulcus, at the terminus of the Sylvian fissure. The existence of a Broca's area and a POT are considered indicative of a hominin anatomical configuration rather than a great ape configuration. The POT region in modern humans is essential to language and to basic conceptual structures. The anatomical mosaic parts essential to language have not been shown to be homologous to anatomical structures that support vocal communication in related ape species. The spatial structure concepts that are evidently necessarily expressed in some fashion or other in language involve motion and location and are typically represented functionally in terms of source, goal, theme, and location, and involve places and paths. Human cognition and language depend on neuroanatomical structures, which lie adjacent to, and are intimately connected to, portions of the posterior parietal cortex that are responsible for spatial cognition.
Mosaic Neurobiology and Anatomical Plausibility
The Prehistory Of Language 15.0, 2009
Language is a species characteristic of humans. This species-specific feature is biologically based, requiring a particularly human neuroanatomy due, ultimately, to a particularly human genetic endowment and its expression. Yet, no non-human, not even our closest primate ...
Brains evolution and neurolinguistic preconditions
Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18:161-182, 1995
Abstract This target article presents a plausible evolutionary scenario for the emergence of the neural preconditions for language in the hominid lineage. In pleistocene primate lineages there was a paired evolutionary expansion of frontal and parietal neocortex ( ...