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.
|Title of host publication||The Elsevier Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics|
|Place of Publication||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2006|