Alessandra Falzone

Performativity and evolution

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Performativity; Evolution; Natural Performativity; Language; Evo-Devo.

Defining performativity is one of the theoretical nodes of the most recent project of the sciences of language and cognition. In this paper, the concept of performativity is analysed from an evolutionary point of view. For this purpose, natural performativity is defined as a central component of the human mind that determines the relationship between the individual and the world. This definition is intentionally general, because it works for every species not only for human: natural performativity, in fact, is a capacity present in all cognitive systems that have a body because it allows us to realize those cognitive abilities that the evolutionary history has delivered as a species. Applied to language, based on evo-devo perspective, the natural performativity allows to explain how sapiens acquire linguistic skills using species-specific morphological structures that are phylogenetically inherited at the same time (as the supra-laryngeal vocal tract), which act as constraints on the possibilities offered by the body.

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