The evolution of pragmatics

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This article accounts for the biological evolution of the cognitive capacity that underlies the human ability to recognize and interpret communicative intentions. It looks at how communication among humans works and articulates what precisely the pragmatic capacity is: this involves an exploration of the kind of behavior it has evolved to interpret. The essay examines the foundational cognitive machinery the capacity is built upon and then turns to the question of how such machinery could have evolved. It closes with one version—in the form of a step-by-step account—of the evolution of specifically pragmatic capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Elsevier Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
EditorsK. Brown
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
ISBN (Print)0080442994
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006


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