Language without Trust (EVOLANG 2022)

Most researchers in the field of language evolution share the assumption that before the evolution of language could even begin, a complex social development must have taken place, establishing new forms of collaboration and trust between the members of a group, not seen among any other apes. The reason for this is that linguistic communication requires trust since it is typically not backed up by direct evidence. According to Dor, Knight, and Lewis (2014, p. 4), virtually all researchers agree that an unprecedented level of collective cooperation and trust was needed for the first steps toward the evolution of language to occur. This paper aims to show that this dominant assumption is unnecessary.


Abstract on EVOLANG