Close
Enter your search into one or more of the boxes below:
You can refine your search by selecting from any of the options below:
Search
The Origin of Language

The Origin of Language (Hardback)

£110.00
Printed to order. Despatched in 2-3 weeks.
Email me when back in stock

Synopsis

The "Key Issues" series makes available some of the contemporary responses that met important books and debates on their first appearance. Examining the range of contemporary literature - journal articles, book extracts, public letters, sermons and pamphlets - the series should give the reader an insight into the historical, social and political context in which a key publication or particular topic emerged. Each text has been reset and provided with a new editorial introduction to supply the necessary historical background. Public debate about language in the English-speaking world during the 19th century turned on the issue of how language began. The notion that language was a divine gift to humanity, not shared by lower creatures, was supported by the Biblical accounts of Adam naming the animals and of the Tower of Babel. It was still accepted by leading religious authorities. But this notion was seriously brought into question by the publication of Darwin's theory of evolution. Those who rejected Darwinism ridiculed all attempts to conjure up language out of primitive calls, grunts and ejaculations.

No animals, it was pointed out, had yet achieved communication remotely resembling the use of words. On the other side were those who held that it was possible to account for the birth of language rationally as a function of the development of human communicational needs in society. Prominent contributors to the controversy included Max Muller (1823-1900), who held the Chair of Comparative Philology at Oxford University, William Dwight Whitney (1837-1894), Professor of Sanskrit at Yale University, USA, and Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917), who became Oxford's first Professor of Anthropology in 1895.

Roy Harris is Emeritus Professor of General Linguistics at the University of Oxford, UK.

More books by Roy Harris

More books by Roy Harris

Leave Review

Delivery

Delivery Options

All delivery times quoted are the average, and cannot be guaranteed. These should be added to the availability message time, to determine when the goods will arrive. During checkout we will give you a cumulative estimated date for delivery.

Location 1st Book Each additional book Average Delivery Time
UK Standard Delivery FREE FREE 3-5 Days
UK First Class £4.50 £1.00 1-2 Days
UK Courier £7.00 £1.00 1-2 Days
Western Europe** Courier £17.00 £3.00 2-3 Days
Western Europe** Airmail £5.00 £1.50 4-14 Days
USA / Canada Courier £20.00 £3.00 2-4 Days
USA / Canada Airmail £7.00 £3.00 4-14 Days
Rest of World Courier £22.50 £3.00 3-6 Days
Rest of World Airmail £8.00 £3.00 7-21 Days

** Includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Delivery Help & FAQs

Returns Information

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase*, you may return it to us in its original condition with in 30 days of receiving your delivery or collection notification email for a refund. Except for damaged items or delivery issues the cost of return postage is borne by the buyer. Your statutory rights are not affected.

* For Exclusions and terms on damaged or delivery issues see Returns Help & FAQs

You might also like

Benito Cereno
(Paperback)
Herman Melville; Jay Fliegelman
 
 
£10.99
 
Writing the Field Recording: Sound,...
(Hardback)
Stephen Benson
 
 
£75.00
 
Things I Don't Want to Know
(Paperback)
Deborah Levy
 
 
£7.99
 
From A Native Son: Selected Essays in...
(Paperback)
Ward Churchill; Howard Zinn
 
 
£21.99
 
Latest Blog
#FoylesFive: Polish Fiction
22/02/2018

Gary from our Fiction Department delights us with a few of his favourite Polish novels.

Get More!
22/02/2018

We've extended the range of available lines on our website to close to one million items across more than thirty product categories! OK, that actually sounds quite dull. But what it means is you've got more books to choose from, more subject areas, more titles available on our website than ever before — more more more! To celebrate, we're giving you 15% off everything* online when you use the code GETMORE at checkout anytime between Thursday 22nd February and Thursday 1st March 2018.

Folklore of the Yorkshire Moors
10/02/2018

View all Blog Entries
Twitter
Show/Hide Tweets
© W&G Foyle Ltd