The book examines the origins of language and grammar and also looks at the nature of being human. As a species, we have a long history of trying to find aspects of ourselves that are exclusively human. Some of the features of humanity thought to be solely the realm of the spiritual - for example cognition and emotion - are increasingly being explained in terms of physical effects. Exclusive physical functions are now questioned too - bipedality, dexterity, socialisation, delayed gratification. Could the differences between the human and animal kingdom be a matter of degrees rather than absolutes? Language, and language grammar, is one territory that might provide an answer.
Martin Edwardes builds a story examining the evolutionary sources of our self-recognition, of human culture and social institutions and of the cognitive forms that lie behind our linguistic grammatical forms. He covers the current thinking in the field of language origins and goes on to develop an essential new theory of the origins of grammar.