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John S. Wilkins History and Philosophy of Science, The University of Melbourne P. O. Box 542, Somerville 3912, Australia

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There are several fundamental concerns for any attempt to make a Darwinian account of the evolution of languages. The most immediate include: the issue of Lamarckian inheritance, whether selection is the major mechanism of linguistic evolution, and how we can reconstruct the past history of a language and indeed classify the evolutionary entities of language. Each of these mirrors a similar problem of biological evolution, some of which are thought, inaccurately, to have been settled and some of which are instructive live debates within the biological disciplines. This paper defends a fully Darwinian account of cultural change, but not necessarily a neo-Darwinian account, and challenges the need for Knudsen's tacit transmission hypothesis. Hull's discussion of hybridization in evolution and the generality of taxa, and an implication of Croft's interpretation of the replicator-interactor distinction are explored.

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Selection
Language English
Year of
Foundation
2001
Publication
Programme
ceased
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 1585-1931 (Print)
ISSN 1588-287X (Online)