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Verbal proficiency as fitness indicator: Experimental and comparative research on the evolutionary psychology of language and verbal displays
Summary: Recent research on the evolution of language and verbal displays (e.g., Miller, 1999, 2000a, 2000b, 2002) indicated that language is not only the result of natural selection but serves as a sexually-selected fitness indicator that is an adaptation showing an individual’s suitability as a reproductive mate. Thus, language could be placed within the framework of concepts such as the handicap principle (Zahavi, 1975). There are several reasons for this position: Many linguistic traits are highly heritable ...