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The Cambridge encyclopedia of the language sciences (2011) 649-651
Pragmatics and evolution
Jean-Louis Dessalles ( ) 1, 2, 3
(2011)

For at least 100 000 years, human beings have been talking the way we do. Language is universally used by most individuals in every culture several hours each day, primarily during conversational chatter (Dunbar 1998). How did our species come to adopt such a strange behavior in the course of its evolution? The question has been considered in turn as obvious and baffling. A proper approach to the reasons why we talk requires that the biological function of language be understood, and pragmatics is the right place to seek out that function.
1 :  Institut Télécom - Télécom ParisTech
Télécom ParisTech
2 :  Département Informatique et Réseaux / Network and Computer Science department (INFRES)
Télécom ParisTech
3 :  Laboratoire Traitement et Communication de l'Information [Paris] (LTCI)
Télécom ParisTech – CNRS : UMR5141
Sciences cognitives/Linguistique
pragmatics – evolution – narrative – argumentation