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An Introduction to Genetics for Language Scientists
Current Concepts, Methods, and Findings


  • Author: Dan Dediu, Max-Planck-Institut für Psycholinguistik, The Netherlands
  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107001299
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About the Authors
  • During the last few decades we have discovered enormous amounts about our genomes, their evolution and, importantly for linguists and language scientists, the genetic foundations of language and speech. Accessible and readable, this introduction is designed specifically for students and researchers working in language and linguistics. It carefully focuses on the most relevant concepts, methods and findings in the genetics of language and speech, and covers a wide range of topics such as heritability, the molecular mechanisms through which genes influence our language, and the evolutionary forces affecting them. Filling a large gap in the literature, this essential guide explores relevant examples including hearing loss, stuttering, dyslexia, brain growth and development, as well as the normal range of variation. It also contains a helpful glossary of terms, and a wide range of references so the reader can pursue topics of interest in more depth.

    • An introduction to genetics aimed at language scientists, with carefully selected concepts, methods and findings exploring language and speech
    • Provides an overview of the most relevant sub-disciplines, including molecular, population and evolutionary genetics
    • Contains a wide range of references so the reader can explore topics of interest in more depth, and includes many relevant examples such as hearing loss, stuttering, dyslexia, brain growth and development, as well as the normal range of variation
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'How does our genetic make-up contribute to our language ability? This book provides language scientists with a much needed introduction to genetics, providing the necessary background to think intelligently about this question.' Morten H. Christiansen, Co-Director of the Cognitive Science Program, Cornell University, Senior Scientist, Haskins Laboratories, and External Professor, University of Southern Denmark

    Customer reviews

    12th Jan 2016 by Progov

    I read this book cover to cover, and learned from it a great deal. It is full of good information and insight, as well as suggestions for future research. The author reports on cutting-edge research on the subject matter, including his own work.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107001299
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 150 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 51 b/w illus. 1 map 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Nature, nurture, and heritability
    3. The molecular bases of genetics
    4. Effects of genes on phenotype
    5. Linkage disequilibrium and its role in finding genes
    6. What do genes actually do?
    7. The way forward: exome and genome sequencing
    8. Population and evolutionary genetics
    9. Interactions between genetic and cultural evolution
    10. Conclusions, topics not covered, future directions
    Appendix. The computer code
    A.1. Simulating contingency tables
    A.2. Log Odds Ratio
    A.3. Simulating genetic drift

  • Author

    Dan Dediu, Max-Planck-Institut für Psycholinguistik, The Netherlands
    Dan Dediu is Senior Investigator in the Language and Genetics Department at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

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