Doctor Dolittle’s Delusion Animals and the Uniqueness of Human Language Stephen R. Anderson

Format:
Paperback
Publication date:
01 May 2006
ISBN:
9780300115253
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
368 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
68 b-w illus.

Categories:

Dr. Dolittle had it wrong, says the author of this fascinating book: animals cannot use language. Stephen Anderson explains the difference between communication and language and shows that animals do not have the cognitive capacities necessary to acquire language.

"A masterly overview of what is currently known about the communicative abilities of a wide range of creatures. . . . Anderson's synthesis provides illuminating comparisons with the infinitely more sophisticated resources of the human language. . . . An elegant book."—Neil Smith, Nature

"Well-written, well-argued, and provocative. . . . I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in animal communication and the evolution of language."—Marc Bekoff, Quarterly Review of Biology

Stephen R. Anderson is professor of linguistics, psychology, and cognitive science at Yale University.

Winner of the 2004 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division Annual Award Competition in the Psychology category


"In this enjoyable and informative book, Stephen Anderson incisively states the way that diverse areas of study have helped illuminate the question of communication by animals and our communication with them."?Diane Brentari, Purdue University


?This book is ideal for any cognitive science class. The fact that I include bees, dolphins and primates in my course is due to Steve Anderson.??K. David Harrison, Department of Linguistics, Swarthmore College


"If Dr. Dolittle had met Charles Darwin, they would have shared two things in common: an extraordinary love of animals and a deep belief in the continuity of human and animal communication. In this book, the distinguished linguist Stephen Anderson challenges Dolittle and Darwin?s belief in the continuity claim, arguing that our capacity for language generates a uniquely designed system of communication, unparalleled in the history of life on earth. Written in a playful and highly accessible style, Anderson navigates some of the difficult territory of linguistics to provide an illuminating discussion of the evolution of language.??Marc Hauser, Harvard College Professor and Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; author of Wild Minds: What Animals Really Think  


?This deeply informed and lucid book not only is an outstanding introduction to human language and to animal communication, but also identifies clearly and persuasively essential properties that distinguish them, and the enormous significance of these properties for human thought and life.??Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor, Department of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT


"A terrific read, informative, judicious, and timely."?Norbert Hornstein, University of Maryland


?An accessible and enjoyable introductory book with extensive coverage of the ever-fascinating domain of animal communication and human language, from both a cognitive and linguistic perspective. . . . [An] excellent book.??Choice


?A thorough analysis. . . . Well researched and highly organized. . . . Highly recommended for all academic libraries.??Library Journal


?Reading Anderson?s book is a highly satisfying experience. . . . The book as a whole is very readable. For a user-friendly introduction to animal communication and the uniqueness of the human language, one can hardly do better than read Anderson.??Anne Reboul, Linguist List


"A masterly overview of what is currently known about the communicative abilities of a wide range of creatures. . . . Anderson's synthesis provides illuminating comparisons with the infinitely more sophisticated resources of human language. . . . [An] elegant book."?Neil Smith, Nature


"This is a very well-written, well-argued, and provocative book about the evolution of human language. It is strongly interdisciplinary. . . . I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in animal communication and the evolution of language. Agree or disagree, this volume will make readers think deeply about the evolution of human language, where it came from, and what the data from animal studies really mean."?Marc Bekoff, Quarterly Review of Biology


?This book is a gem. Anderson clearly articulates what makes human language truly unique among systems of communication. This is a must read.??Cedric Boeckx, Harvard University