Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 21, 2019

The Role of Languaging in Human Evolution

An approach based on the theory of natural drift

Vincenzo Raimondi
From the journal Chinese Semiotic Studies

Abstract

The notion of languaging provides a new understanding of the intimate relationship between sociality and language. In this paper, I address the evolutionary emergence of language by subscribing to the autopoietic theory of natural drift (Maturana and Varela 1987; Varela et al. 1993; Maturana and Mpdozis 2000) I show that this systemic approach to evolution can offer the ideal epistemological background to evaluate the role of languaging throughout hominization. The central idea is that the languaging-based way of living acted as an attractor for the evolutionary process. This claim relies on three interrelated assumptions: 1) behavioral and relational habits may channel the course of genetic and structural change; 2) recursive coordination and specific forms of sociality set the systemic conditions for coexistence-through-languaging to be conserved over generations; 3) the conservation of these systemic conditions gives rise to a spiraling, positive-feedback process that involves body, cognition, and culture.

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Published Online: 2019-11-21
Published in Print: 2019-11-26

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