The Language Puzzle: How We Talked Our Way Out of the Stone Age

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The Language Puzzle: How We Talked Our Way Out of the Stone Age by Steven Mithen

'A tour de force' Alice Roberts

'Wonderful ... A remarkably comprehensive biography of the single most important thing we all share - language' Robin Dunbar

The relationship between language, thought and culture is of concern to anyone with an interest in what it means to be human.

The Language Puzzle explains how the invention of words at 1.6 million years ago began the evolution of human language from the ape-like calls of our earliest ancestors to our capabilities of today, with over 6000 languages in the world and each of us knowing over 50,000 words.

Drawing on the latest discoveries in archaeology, linguistics, psychology, and genetics, Steven Mithen reconstructs the steps by which language evolved; he explains how it transformed the nature of thought and culture, and how we talked our way out of the Stone Age into the world of farming and swiftly into today's Digital Age.

While this radical new work is not shy to reject outdated ideas about language, it builds bridges between disciplines to forge a new synthesis for the evolution of language that will find widespread acceptance as a new standard account for how humanity began.

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  • Book Dimensions

    16.2 x 5.2 x 23.6 cm

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  • Book Publication Date

    7 Mar. 2024

  • Book Publisher

    Profile Books

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