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Linguistic diversity and language evolution

Hammarström, H. (2016). Linguistic diversity and language evolution. Journal of Language Evolution, 1, 19-29. doi:10.1093/jole/lzw002.
What would your ideas about language evolution be if there was only one language left on earth? Fortunately, our investigation need not be that impoverished. In the present article, we survey the state of knowledge regarding the kinds of language found among humans, the language inventory, population sizes, time depth, grammatical variation, and other relevant issues that a theory of language evolution should minimally take into account
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The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.


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