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CANCELLED - Diversity of Expression in Utterance and the Idea of Language

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This talk has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Edward Tylor’s (1865, 1871) view of utterance in which diverse modes of expression are conjointly mobilized for the expression of “thoughts” implied a view of language that was in marked contrast to that which eventually came to prevail, as linguistics emerged as an autonomous field of inquiry at the end of the nineteenth century. Studies of how speakers use gesture and of sign languages, however, are leading to the recognition that the concept of language must incorporate a diversity of modalities and semiotic processes, suggesting an idea of language that is much more compatible with the way Tylor conceived of it. Implications for language origins theories may be discussed.

This talk is part of the Cambridge University Linguistic Society series.

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