University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cambridge University Linguistic Society (LingSoc) > [Online talk] - Peircean Semiotics, Archaeology, and the Origin of Human Language: Was Homo erectus the first talking human?

[Online talk] - Peircean Semiotics, Archaeology, and the Origin of Human Language: Was Homo erectus the first talking human?

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Charles Sanders Peirce was the founder of American Pragmatism, the inventor of first and second order logic with universal and existential quantification, the founder of Semiotics, and much more. This talk explores the implications of his concept of semiosis (interpreting one sign via another) and one component of his semiotic typology, icons vs. indexes vs. symbols, for the evolution of human language. I argue that language is more than 1 million years old; that grammar is not central to human language but merely a computational aid to semiosis; that Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens were likely born into a linguistic world in which language preceded their emergence by more than 800,000 years.

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

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