THE HISTORY OF THE HOLISTIC PROTOLANGUAGE IDEA
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Research in language evolution has increased dramatically over the last two decades. The subject is of necessity multi-disciplinary and research from diverse fields of inquiry has helped inform the various hypotheses offered for language evolution scenarios. Computational and mathematical modelling, evolutionary biology, archaeology as well as linguistics are just some of the areas that help shape our conception of the origins of language. However, a hitherto untapped area in language evolution research is the history of the subject itself. A longitudinal study of certain theories related to the question is worthwhile in that it can both highlight the staying power of specific ideas, and perhaps stimulate discussion as to why they have persisted. One such idea is that of the holistic protolanguage. This dissertation will focus on the persistence of the claim that there was a stage in language evolution that was entirely holistic. As such the time-frame I will be looking at will cover the mid-to-late 18th century to the present day.