Curious parallels: an examination of terms and concepts shared between biology and linguistics, and their relevance to the study of languages.

Currie, Andrew (2020) Curious parallels: an examination of terms and concepts shared between biology and linguistics, and their relevance to the study of languages. Masters thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Currie, Andrew (2020) Curious Parallels - Biocultural Diversity Questionnaire Results.pdf - Accepted Version
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Currie, Andrew (2020) Curious Parallels - Specialist Questionnaire Results.pdf - Accepted Version
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Abstract

The linguistic world contains an array of terms and concepts which, in their literal sense at least, appear to belong primarily to the modern discipline of biology. We speak, for example, of the evolution of languages, of living languages, of dead or extinct languages, of genetically related languages and of the ecology of languages, to name but a few. Vulnerable, critically endangered and extinct are used by international bodies to classify the status of biological species and languages alike, and languages have in the past been described quite literally as living organisms. The aim of this dissertation is to examine where research currently stands on the parallels between biological species and languages, the processes which might link them, and the reasons why these comparisons have persisted over such a long period. Considerable attention will be paid in this regard to the role of culture as both a possible bridge and a potential barrier between language and life, given that the term is often used in binary opposition to nature on the one hand, and in a rather vague alliance with language in the term “language and culture” on the other. Defining precisely what culture is, and its relationship to biology and language alike, will therefore be a major objective. It is hoped that some gaps may subsequently be addressed.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Parallels and analogies between the evolution, ecology and diversity of languages and species.
Uncontrolled Keywords: biocultural diversity, language change, language ecology, cultural evolution
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Masters Dissertations
Depositing User: Andrew Currie
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2021 14:30
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2021 10:31
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573

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