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Title: Sexual selection in language, music and birdsong - common themes and issues
Authors: Fisher, Sarah
Supervisor(s): Kirby, Simon
Hurford, Jim
Issue Date: 2006
Abstract: Sexual selection plays a major role in evolutionary biology, shaping some of nature's most spectacular beauties and intricate systems. The interplay between competition, display and choice is a major driving force in shaping the world around us Human beings are very sexual creatures, and display competition, selectiveness and jealousy when it comes to our partners. To what extent did sexual choice shape our evolutionary history ? Studies in the evolution of language have considered a role for sexual selection in the development of our most unique and mysterious trait, and more recently in the emergence of music. However, the theories put forward are for the most part hesitant and conflicting. This study attempts to gather and assess some of these theories while considering the insights available from another group of adept vocal learners and performers the oscine songbirds.
Keywords: language evolution
sexual selection
Appears in Collections:Linguistics and English Language Masters thesis collection

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