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Book Chapter

Genetics and Language


Dediu,  Dan
Language and Genetics Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society;

Graham,  Sarah A.
Language and Genetics Department, MPI for Psycholinguistics, Max Planck Society, Nijmegen, NL;

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Dediu, D., & Graham, S. A. (2014). Genetics and Language. In M. Aronoff (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from

Cite as:
This article surveys what is currently known about the complex interplay between genetics and the language sciences. It focuses not only on the genetic architecture of language and speech, but also on their interactions on the cultural and evolutionary timescales. Given the complexity of these issues and their current state of flux and high dynamism, this article surveys the main findings and topics of interest while also briefly introducing the main relevant methods, thus allowing the interested reader to fully appreciate and understand them in their proper context. Of course, not all the relevant publications and resources are mentioned, but this article aims to select the most relevant, promising, or accessible for nonspecialists.