Eva Wittenberg's talk on human language was published by the University of California Audio Podcasts as part of the "CARTA - Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny" series.
Human language is a strong contender for the title of most often named species-specific feature in the literature. But why is that? In this talk, Eva Wittenberg explores what we could mean by "human language", and how different conceptions of language inevitably lead to different answers about whether it is species-specific. While syntax is a central feature, it is only one of several, and the uniqueness of human language is that it arose from a combination of, perhaps, ordinary ingredients.