Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, The origins of complex language: an inquiry into
the evolutionary beginnings of sentences, syllables, and truth. Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 1999. Pp. xi+260.
Simon Kirby, Function, selection, and innateness: the emergence of language
universals. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. Pp. xvi+156.
Daniel Nettle, Linguistic diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
If I find that a book I am reading for review is interesting, then I count myself
lucky. If it turns out to be insightful, then I am fortunate indeed. The fact
that I was given three books to review, each of which is not only interesting
and insightful, but downright ENJOYABLE, makes me feel like a winner of the
Linguistic Lottery. The books are the first three to appear in a new series on
language evolution published by the Oxford University Press. Given the
quality of the first entries, my advice to all linguists is to put yourselves down
for standing orders for the ones to follow.