Arts and Humanities Research Board
University College London
University of Southampton
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The CEACB held a conference entitled Pattern and Process in Cultural Evolution 14-16 September 2005 more>
The CEACB is an AHRC funded research group dedicated to examining the evolutionary underpinnings of human cultural behaviour, past and present. more>

The Evolution of Spoken Language: Workshop 2004
10-12 December, 2004

The AHRB CEACB in association with the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins will be holding a joint workshop to examine the origins of spoken language. The workshop will be held at the University of Southampton and is provisionally scheduled for Friday 10 to Sunday 12 December. The theme is the organisation of complex sequential movements of the hand and vocal tract in humans from both a comparative and evolutionary perspective. The aim of the workshop is to bring together researchers who are working on different aspects of such functions in an effort to bring about a greater understanding of the issues involved. The workshop will focus on three questions:

  1. How should we analyse such behaviours in terms that can be applied across domains, and potentially across species, and which integrate different levels of behavioural organisation?
  2. At which level in the organisation of complex skilled movements should we expect to find the key innovations that underlie human adaptive capabilities (e.g. conceptual vs. action)?
  3. Does the evidence for skilled tool manipulation tell us anything about the evolution of speech or pre-adaptations for speech?

Papers are invited on the following topics:

  1. Interdisciplinary approaches
    • Kinematics of orofacial and manual voluntary movements, including speech, gesture, and object manipulation
    • Cognitive neuroscience and the cerebral organization of tool use, object manipulation, speech and gesture
    • Comparative functional anatomy of the primate hand and vocal apparatus
    • Comparative primate behavioural organization of object manipulation and of vocalization
  2. Archaeological and anatomical approaches
    • Comparative and fossil anatomy of the vocal apparatus and articulatory control
    • Comparative and fossil anatomy of the hand and manipulative dexterity
    • Archaeological evidence for manipulative skill and handedness

For more information, please contact Dr. James Steele

Click here to download these notes as a pdf.

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