Language Origins and Lessons from the Amazon | Daniel Everett

From What I’ve Learned .

0:43 – Why language started with Homo Erectus – 1.5M years earlier than we thought.
2:47 – If Homo Erectus had tools, they must have had language.
3:35 – Homo Erectus was a sailor
7:20 – How communication evolved (Sign Progression Theory)
11:54 – Why would Noam Chomsky assume language is innate?
16:42 – The Piraha language of the Amazon lacks "recursion" in the grammar. What is recursion, why is that a big deal and why would their language lack it?
10:11 – The recursion controversy. What is recursion? Why is it a big deal that Pirahã lacks it?
21:30 – Is the way babies learn a language relevant to the evolution of the first language?
23:20 – How Dan learned Portuguese
31:23 – Can we apply any of what we learned from Dan’s Book "How Language Began" to our own language learning? ("That’s why you still don’t speak Piraha – we don’t eat leaves.")
34:08 – Other people are trying to do research on the Piraha and make claims about the lanugage …but without learning the Piraha language or even getting an interpreter who can speak Piraha properly.
38:30 – Other languages don’t have recursion – why was it controversial and why did Dan get so much heat for pointing out Piraha lacks recursion?
39:28 – Noam Chomsky claimed in 2002 that all languages *must* have recursion. Dan found that the Piraha language *doesn’t* have recursion. Chomsky dismisses this but does not provide sufficient counter arguments.
41:34 – Dan talking about Charles Sanders Peirce
44:33 – Dan’s son Caleb Everett is also a linguist who wrote a book about numbers as a cognitive tool.
46:36 – Dan speaking in Piraha

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Dan Everett’s Books:
"How Language Began" –
"Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes" –
"Language, the Cultural Tool" –

Caleb Everett’s Book:
"Numbers and the Making of Us" –

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