2nd Call for Papers Issue 27, October 2014
Origin And Evolution Of Language
Editors: Francesco Ferretti (Roma Tre University), Ines Adornetti (Roma Tre University - University of L'Aquila)
The origin of language is a fascinating subject that has since always been generating great interest as well as important controversies. The interest depends on the core idea that language constitutes the element that, more than any other, makes us humans. The controversies depend on the methodological difficulties related to investigating this topic. Because of these difficulties, the Linguistics Society of Paris in 1866 banned any kind of debate among its members about the topic to avoid the disputes originating from fragile speculations. Over the time the situation has considerably changed, and the origin of language is no longer a taboo today. The emergence of Darwinian evolutionary theory has allowed to address this topic scientifically and systematically; and, in the last forty years, a growing number of scholars from many backgrounds has dealt with the problem and highlighted the different aspects involved in the genesis and evolution of human linguistic capacities.
This special issue aims to address the question concerning the relationship between language origins and human nature. A large part of contemporary theoretical investigation attributes the “uniqueness” that characterizes our species to the fact that humans are talking animals. How true is this interpretation? Can we really assert that humans are uniquely characterized by their verbal skills? Do humans have a special status in nature because of language? The analysis of language in evolutionary terms is a powerful tool to answer these questions: considering our verbal skills in the framework of the evolutionary theory is indeed a way to understand how it is possible to investigate human beings in a naturalistic perspective. In other words, the theme of language origins gives us the opportunity to test Darwin’s idea of human beings as animals among other animals.
The issue aims to reflect the inherently interdisciplinary nature of research into the origin and the evolution of language. We invite papers from a wide range of subjects, including:
philosophy of language;
philosophy of biology;
general evolutionary theory;
neuroscience of language;
Michael C. Corballis (University of Auckland)
Alessandra Falzone (University of Messina)
Stefano Gensini (University of Rome “La Sapienza”)
James R. Hurford (University of Edinburgh)
Adrien Meguerditchian (University of Provence)
Antonino Pennisi (University of Messina)
Ian Tattersall (American Museum of Natural History)
Natalie T. Uomini (University of Liverpool)
Jordan Zlatev (Lund University)
Submissions should adhere to the following guidelines:
Articles should be submitted in blind review format (in Microsoft Word). Please omit any self-identifying information within the abstract and body of the paper.
Furthermore, we invite to submit reviews of recent books (published after 2010), and commentaries of articles and books (also published before 2010) that could be particularly interesting for the topics analyzed in this issue.
Articles: 40.000 characters (including spaces, references and an abstract of no more than 150 words).
Commentaries: 25.000 characters (including spaces and references).
Reviews: 20.000 characters (including spaces and references).
Submissions should be sent via email to:
Deadline for submissions: March 31th, 2014
Notification of acceptance: June 2014