The Evolution of Language #222

July 19, 2013

This episode was recorded when Science for the People was called Skeptically Speaking.

This week, it’s an hour on the evolution of language. Linguist, philosopher, author and activist Noam Chomsky joins us to discuss the concept of universal grammar, and the possibility of a human genetic capacity to create and use language. Terrence Deacon, Chair of Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley, talks about the structure of language, and how some common features might be required to make language useful. And we’ll speak to biologist Con Slobodchikoff,  Director of the Animal Language Institute, about his book Chasing Doctor Dolittle: Learning the Language of Animals.


  • Noam Chomsky
  • Terrence Deacon
  • Con Slobodchikoff
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