Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 1 of 1 items for

  • Author or Editor: G. Radick x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search

Charles Darwin himself helped to start the debate on language change as a selection process. Here I examine two aspects of Darwin's contribution to this debate. Throughout I emphasize how much Darwin's own views differed from the views of present-day Darwinians. First, I consider the parallels Darwin identified between selection in language change and selection in species change. I argue that Darwin drew attention to these parallels mainly to undermine anti-evolutionist claims of high languages among races in a low state of civilization. Second, I consider the role Darwin attributed to selection in causing the biological changes that produced the power of articulate language in humans. I show that, in his argument on the evolution of the human vocal organs, Darwin combined sexual selection with what many Darwinians today regard as the opposite of selection, namely, the inheritance of acquired characters and habits (“Lamarckian inheritance”).

Restricted access