The Development of the Brain and the Evolution of Language

  • Norman Geschwind
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 16)


There exist many theories of the evolution of language, and many were produced in the 19th Century. These theories tried to account for the production of language. They all lead to a paradox. If a mutation occurred which made a man capable of speech, he would have no language to speak nor anyone to understand him. If a mutation made a man capable of comprehension what language would he learn and who would speak it? The possibility of simultaneous mutations in two men in contact seems highly unlikely. More recent theories which stress the origin of language through gesture face exactly the same paradox.


Temporal Lobe Visual Cortex Limbic System Angular Gyrus Association Cortex 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman Geschwind
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolUSA

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