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  • 1. Aarnio, A
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Measurement of the mass and width of the Zo particle from multihadron final states produced in e+e--annihilations1989Ingår i: Physics Letters, nr 231, s. p 539-Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 2. Aarnio, A
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Study of the hadronic decays of the Zo boson1990Ingår i: Physics Letters, nr 240, s. p 271-Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 3. Aarnio, A
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Study of the leptonic decays of the Zo boson1990Ingår i: Physics Letters, nr 241, s. p 425-Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 4. Askebjer, P
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    AMANDA: Status Report from the 1993/94 Campaign and Optical Properties of the South Pole Ice1995Ingår i: Nuclear Physics, nr 38, s. 287-292Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 5. Askebjer, P
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    First Data and Future Prospects for AMANDA, the Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector1994Ingår i: Antarctic Journal of the United States, nr 29, s. 337-339Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 6. Askebjer, P
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    On the Age vs Depth and Optical Clarity of Deep Ice at the South Pole1995Ingår i: Journal of Glaciology, nr 41, s. p 445-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 7. Askebjer, P
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Optical properties of the South Pole ice at depths between 0.8 and 1 km1995Ingår i: Science, nr 267, s. 1147-1150Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 8. Askebjer, P
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Remote Surveys of AMANDA1995Ingår i: Contribution to the XXIV International Cosmic Ray Conference, Rome 1995, 1995Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 9. Bergström, Lars
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Detection of High Energy Neutrinos in PAN1992Ingår i: Proceedings of the Workshop on High Energy Neutrino Astrophysics, Univ. Hawaai at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 23-26, 1992., 1992Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 10. Burns, M
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Physics aspects of the DELPHI vertex detector1988Konferensbidrag (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 11. Dijkstra, F
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Physics aspects of the DELPHI vertex detector1989Ingår i: Nuclear Instruments and Methods, nr 277, s. p 160-Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 12. Erlandsson, Bengt
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd. Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Measurements of the Absorption Length of the Ice at the South Pole in the Wavelength Interval 410 nm to 610 nm1995Ingår i: The XXIV International Cosmic Ray Conference, Rome 1995, 1995Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 13. Gray, P
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    The Design of a Neutrino Telescope Using Natural Deep Ice as a Particle Detector1995Ingår i: The XXIV International Cosmic Ray Conference, Rome 1995, 1995Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 14. Halzen, Francis
    et al.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Status of the AMANDA South Pole Neutrino Detector1996Ingår i: The International Workshop on Aspects of Dark Matter in Astrophysics and Particle Physics, Heidelberg, Germany, September 1996, 1996Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 15.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    A study of mu-mu- and e-mu-pairs produced in 450 GeV/c p-Be--collisions in HELIOS, and software development for DELPHI.1990Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The main part of this thesis treats measurements in the HELIOS experiment of the production of e-mu and mu+mu-pairs in 450 GeV/c p-Be collisions. The mumu measurement covers the kinematical covers the kinematical range of 2Mmu < M < 1.5 GeV, 0.03 < xF < 0.25, and 0 < pT < 2 GeV. Production of the vector mesons rho, omega , and phi is observed. The branching ratio omega to mu+mu- is for the first time experimentally measured. The continuum at masses below the mu mass is studied, and compared with the contributions from known sources, normalized to the vector meson peaks in the mu+mu- mass spectrum, and to measurements in this experiment of the mu cross section. The res ult is compared with that of other experiments, discussed in terms of different background estimates used. A significant signal of unlike-sign e-mu-pairs is observed, forming a continuum peaking at a mass below 500 MeV. Correlations between e-mu and neutrino production are studied. The shape of the e-mu mass and missng-energy spectra indicate significant non-charm contributions. A search for lepton-number-violating decays is made, resulting in upper limits on a number of branching ratios. Also discussed here is the author's work in the DELPHI experiment, contributions that are related to analysis of heavy quark production. Keywords: muon. pair, dimuon, dilepton, lepton, low mass, continuum, eta, rho, omega, branching ratio, emu, e-mu, mue, mu-e, muon-electron, electron-muon, electron, charm, neutrino, missing energy

  • 16.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    All you need is love... or what?2017Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    All you need is love… or what?

    Language is essentially always present in groups of modern humans. Even in the exceptional groups that for some reason are formed without language, language will invariably emerge in short order. Examples of language emergence in recent times include deaf communities in e.g. Nicaragua and Israel. Such newly-formed languages converge within a few generations towards the same general form and features as mainstream human languages.

    Language is essentially never present in groups of non-human primates. Even in the exceptional groups that are heavily exposed to language and explicitly trained in language use, progress in language acquisition is invariably modest at best. Language never emerges spontaneously in non-human groups.

    What’s special with humans? It is sometimes argued that “all you need is merge” (e.g. Berwick 2007), that a small genetic change provided a language-ready brain and the rest is history. This saltational view of language evolution is wrong for many reasons (e.g. Tallerman 2014), but I would add here another one.

    A language-ready brain is not an all-or-nothing affair, nor is it sufficient for language emergence. The results of language training in apes are modest, but not nil. Apes do learn to connect symbols with referents and use them communicatively. One may quibble about whether to call this “language”, and it is far from full human language, notably lacking in syntax. But it does show the presence of some language-relevant abilities in apes, and it is a functional communication tool at some protolinguistic level.

    But if ape brains are protolanguage-ready, why doesn’t protolanguage emerge in the wild among apes, as it does among humans? Clearly, some extra-linguistic key factor is lacking. A language-ready brain is not all you need for language emergence. In a group of hypothetical creatures with a human language faculty (narrow sense) but otherwise ape-like in psychology and behavior, language would not emerge.

    Human prosociality and shared intentionality are likely key ingredients in language emergence (e.g. Tomasello 2010), but are not the whole story. In this talk, I will explore the minimal extra-linguistic requirements for protolanguage emergence to get off the ground in protohumans.

     

    References:

    Berwick, R C (2011) All you Need is Merge: Biology, Computation, and Language from the Bottom-up.  In di Sciullo & Boeckx The Biolinguistic Enterprise OUP.

    Tallerman M. (2014) No syntax saltation in language evolution. Language Sciences 46, 207-219.

    Tomasello, M (2010) Origins of human communication. MIT Press.

  • 17.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    Biolinguistics or Physicolinguistics? Is The Third Factor Helpful Or Harmful In Explaining Language?2013Ingår i: Biolinguistics, ISSN 1450-3417, Vol. 7, s. 249-275Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Noam Chomsky (2005) proposed that a ‘third factor’, consisting of general principles and natural laws, may explain core properties of language in a principled manner, minimizing the need for either genetic endowment or experience. But the focus on third-factor patterns in much recent bio-linguistic work is misguided for several reasons: First, ‘the’ third factor is a vague and disparate collection of unrelated components, useless as an analytical tool. Second, the vagueness of the third factor, together with the desire for principled explanations, too often leads to sweeping claims, such as syntax “coming for free, directly from physics”, that are unwarranted without a case-by-case causal analysis. Third, attention is diverted away from a proper causal analysis of language as a biological feature. The point with biolinguistics is to acknowledge the language faculty as a biological feature. The best way forward towards an understanding of language is to take the biology connection seriously, instead of dabbling with physics.

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  • 18.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Clues to language evolution from a massive dataset with typology, phonology and vocabulary from many languages2018Ingår i: Evolution of Language. Proceedings of Evolang XII / [ed] Cuskley, et al., Singapore: Nicolaus Copernicus University , 2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    1. Introduction

    A major component in the evolution of language is the evolution of the human language capacity, whatever biological endowments humans have that make us language-ready. But the language capacity is not well understood and is difficult to study directly. Clues may come from biases displayed by humans in language acquisition and language change. Even weak underlying biases can lead to strong patterns in the resulting languages (Smith, 2011). Biases can be studied at the individual level in learning experiments (e.g. Culbertson, 2012, Tamariz et al., of natural languages (e.g. Dediu & Ladd, 2007). Biases can be seen either in the synchronic patterns of language features today, or in the diachronic patterns of transition probabilities between features as languages culturally evolve (e.g. Dunn et al, 2011).

    Patterns that reveal biases may be found in any aspect of language, e.g. syntax, morphology, phonology, or lexicon, and may be subtle enough to be discernible only in large samples of languages. This work is an exploratory study across the widest possible set of languages, combining typological, phonological, lexical and phylogenetic data on a significant fraction of the languages of the world, with the goal of mapping any biases that may be present. Both synchronic and diachronic patterns are studied, with the emphasis on the latter.

    2. Data set

    The following data sources are used:

    •Phylogeny and geography: Ethnologue (Simons & Fennig 2017); ~7,500 languages.

    • Phonological inventories: PHOIBLE (Moran & McCloy & Wright 2014); ~1,800 languages.

    • Typology: WALS (Dryer & Haspelmath 2013); ~2,500 languages.

    • Lexicon (Swadesh lists): Rosetta Project Digital Language Archive (2009); ~1,300 languages.

    All four types of data are available for ~300 languages. At least three types are available for ~1,600 languages from 132 different stocks. In order to keep the data set as homogeneous as possible, each type of data has been imported from a single source only. Languages are identified between data sources by their ISO codes. 3. Methods

    The language phylogeny from Ethnologue is taken as given in the analysis. For the synchronic analysis, the phylogeny is taken into account in the character statistics by down-weighting multiple “hits” in the same family, in order to control for phylogenetic bias and lineage-specific patterns. Geographic data is also available to control for areal effects. Cross-correlations between different types of characters are analysed for possible patterns. For the diachronic analysis, the phylogeny together with modern-day character data are used to infer both ancestral character states up the language tree for phonological and typological characters, and transitional probabilities between states (including the probability of characters appearing and disappearing), in a bootstrapping process. 4. Some preliminary results

    Well-known typological patterns are reproduced. But correlations between features are observed that go beyond those normally discussed in typology, or those observed by Dunn et al (2011). Interestingly, there are also some modest cross-correlations between grammatical features and phonemes. For example, the presence of aspirated consonants and nasal vowels correlates with certain word- order features, even after controlling for phylogeny. In the diachronic analysis, there are hints of patterns beyond the obvious one that transition probabilities into common features are larger, but much work remains to be done in the interpretation of these patterns.

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  • 19.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan i Jönköping, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation.
    Constraining the time when language evolved2011Ingår i: Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, ISSN 1841-2394, Vol. 10, s. 45-59Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The precise timing of the emergence of language in human prehistory cannot be resolved. But the available evidence is sufficient to constrain it to some degree. This is a review and synthesis of the available evidence, leading to the conclusion that the time when speech in some form became important for our ancestors can be constrained to be not less than 400,000 years ago, thus excluding several popular theories involving a late transition to speech.

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  • 20.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Constraining the time when language evolved2006Ingår i: The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Evolution of Language, 2006Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The precise timing of the emergence of language in human prehistory cannot be resolved. But the available evidence is sufficient to constrain it to some degree. This is a review and synthesis of the available evidence, leading to the conclusion that the time when speech became important for our ancestors can be constrained to be not less than 500,000 years ago, thus excluding several popular theories involving a late transition to speech.

  • 21.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Cosmic rays and free neutrinos affect decay rates2005Ingår i: The Counter-Creationism handbook, Westport: Greenwood Publishing , 2005Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 22.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan i Jönköping.
    Did language evolve incommunicado?2014Ingår i: The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 10th International Conference (EVOLANG 10) / [ed] Cartmill et al, Singapore: World Scientific, 2014Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    It is commonly assumed in evolutionary linguistics that language evolved for communication.But much recent work in biolinguistics, e.g. Chomsky (2010), proposes instead that languageevolved for purely internal use, as a cognitive tool, with no externalization until at a later stagein language evolution.How well supported is really our general assumption of communicative language origins? Doesit make sense to have instead an early stage with internal language only? I will review the argumentsinvoked in favor of the incommunicado hypothesis, and critically evaluate their strength.

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  • 23.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Dimuon production in 450 GeV/c p-Be collisions1990Ingår i: Proceedings of the Pittsburgh Workshop on Soft Lepton Pair and Photon Production, Sept 6-8, 1990, 1990Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 24.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Evolution of Language2020Ingår i: Oxford Bibliographies: Evolutionary BiologyArtikel, forskningsöversikt (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Why do humans have language at all and how did we become language users? These are central questions in language evolution, but no general consensus exists on the answers, nor even on what methods to use to find answers. This is a complex topic that requires input from many disciplines, including, but not limited to, linguistics, evolutionary biology, palaeoanthropology, neurobiology, archaeology, cognitive science, and primatology. Nobody is an expert in all these areas, and experts in one area sometimes overlook needed input from other areas. Consensus does not even exist among linguists on what language is—opinions range from the physical speech acts themselves to language as an abstract social communication system to language as computational machinery in the individual and to language as an innate species-defining, genetically encoded capacity of humans. These different views of language imply very different evolutionary explanations. At the same time, all of these perspectives have some validity; the speech acts do occur, language use does take place in a social context, the individual language user does somehow produce and parse sentences, and human babies are born with a predisposition for language learning that ape babies lack. The disagreements are mainly a matter of emphasis, namely which aspects are regarded as of primary interest, requiring explanation. The preeminent linguist of the early 20th century, Ferdinand de Saussure, focused on the first two perspectives with his distinction between parole (speech acts) and langue (the social system). The preeminent linguist of the late 20th century, Noam Chomsky, focuses instead on the latter two, especially the computational machinery, and he regards the first two as not worthy of a linguist’s attention. But neither focus is adequate on its own; a viable theory of language evolution must be able to explain all aspects of language, notably both the evolution of the language capacity that resides in each human brain and the evolution of the human social context in which language is used. No generally accepted theory exists today. Instead of a single accepted theory, the field of language evolution is awash with a multitude of different models, scenarios, and hypotheses about how things might have happened. To make matters worse, there is something of a paradigm split in the study of language origins. The split is largely along the line between Saussure and Chomsky mentioned above. To put it simply, those researchers who use the label “biolinguistics” try to explain the origin of Chomsky’s computational machinery (see Biolinguistics) whereas most work on language evolution is concerned with explaining the origins of Saussure’s langue, language as a social system; the latter is here called “mainstream evolutionary linguistics.” Language evolution is not, however, about the origin of individual languages (English, Chinese, etc.). Sometimes “language evolution” is used to refer to diachronic language change in recent times, as studied by historical linguists, and an evolutionary perspective can indeed be fruitful in this area. But this article does not cover that kind of language evolution, except peripherally in Cultural Evolution.

  • 25.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan i Jönköping, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation.
    Evolutionary constraints on language and speech2009Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
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  • 26.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan i Jönköping, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation.
    Evolutionsförnekarna avklädda sin intelligent designade maskering: Recension av Kornhall ’Skapelsekonspirationen’2008Ingår i: Folkvett, ISSN 0283-0795, nr 2, s. 52-56Artikel, recension (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
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  • 27.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Extracting individual grades from group assessments: A pilot study1998Rapport (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 28.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Extracting individual grades from group assessments; some preliminary results1998Ingår i: Högskoleverkets Konferens om Kvalitet och förbättringsarbete, Luleå, 10-11 juni 1998, 1998Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 29.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    Från ostkupan till den stora smällen2004Bok (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 30.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Gradually evolving limited Merge2019Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Chomsky (e.g. 2010) and others regard unlimited Merge as the defining feature of language, that cannot evolve gradually. The neural implementation of Merge is not well understood (Rizzi 2012, Zaccarella et al 2017), but must involve something functionally equivalent to pointers in working memory. Every Merge requires two pointers, and full syntactic trees may require dozens. Other syntactic paradigms also need pointers.

    Humans do hierarchies in general better than chimpanzees. Any hierarchical thinking requires nested pointers in working memory, but they are neurologically expensive and degrade with depth (Crawford et al. 2016). Humans have larger working-memory capacity than chimpanzees, which has been proposed as key to human cognitive evolution (Read 2008, Coolidge & Wynn, 2005). Gradual evolutionary growth of pointer capacity will allow gradually increasing syntactic complexity, without saltations in the underlying computational machinery. Both depth degradation and pointer capacity naturally limit Merge even in modern humans, consistent with corpus data (e.g. Karlsson 2010).

    Chomsky, Noam. (2010). Some simple evo devo theses: how true might they be for language? In Richard K Larson, Viviane Déprez, & Hiroko Yamakido (Eds.), The Evolution of Human Language. Biolinguistic Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Coolidge, Frederick L & Wynn, Thomas (2005) Working memory, its executive functions, and the emergence of modern thinking. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 15:5-26.

    Crawford, Eric & Gingerich, Matthew & Eliasmith, Chris (2016) Biologically plausible, human-scale knowledge representation. Cognitive Science 40:782-821.

    Karlsson, Fred (2010) Syntactic recursion and iteration. In Harry van der Hulst, ed., Recursion and Human Language. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter,

    Read, Dwight W (2008) Working memory: A cognitive limit to non-human primate recursive thinking prior to hominid evolution. Evolutionary Psychology 6:676-714.

    Rizzi, Luigi (2012) Core linguistic computations: How are they expressed in the mind/brain? Journal of Neurolinguistics 25:489-499.

    Zaccarella et al (2017) Building by syntax: the neural basis of minimal linguistic structures. Cerebral Cortex 27:411-421.

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  • 31.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    How can a social theory of language evolution be grounded in evidence?2014Ingår i: Social Origins of Language / [ed] Daniel Dor, Chris Knight, Jeremy Lewis, Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2014Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
  • 32.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    How can a social theory of language evolution be grounded in evidence?2011Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 33.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan i Jönköping, Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation.
    How language did not evolve2010Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
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  • 34.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    How language did not evolve2011Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
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  • 35.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    I-language is not what evolved biologically, and E-language is not what evolved culturally2013Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 36.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Kreationismen kritiskt granskad: Recension av Scott ’Evolution vs. Creationism’2005Ingår i: Folkvett, ISSN 0283-0795, Vol. 4Artikel, recension (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 37.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Language abilities in neanderthals2015Ingår i: Annual Review of Linguistics, ISSN 2333-9691, Vol. 1, s. 311-332Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Neanderthal language abilities cannot be directly observed, but indirect evidence is available in their anatomy, archeology, and DNA. Neanderthal anatomy shows possible speech adaptations, and their archeology contains enough indicators of behavioral modernity, including symbols and ornaments, to conclude that their minds could handle symbolic communication. Neanderthal DNA, finally, indicates both that they possessed some of the language-relevant genes found in modern humans and that they could and did have children with modern humans. From the consilience of evidence from anatomy, archeology, and DNA, one can conclude that some language abilities, if not necessarily full modern syntactic language, were present in Neanderthals.

  • 38.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Measuring the energy of multi-TeV muons with a water Cherenkov detector1991Ingår i: Proceedings of the 22nd International Cosmic Ray Conference, Dublin, Aug 11-23, 1991, 1991Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 39.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Midwives and the birth of language2018Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Midwives and the birth of language

    Sverker Johansson

    Dalarna University

    Sweden

     

    Language is a paradox in signal evolution theory. Cheap signals can evolve only between beings who trust each other, or who have totally aligned interests. But totally aligned interests is a utopia, and our knuckle-walking relatives generally do not trust each other? How and when did human trust evolve? This will set a baseline for language evolution – except that trust does not fossilize any more than language does.

    What fossil and archeological proxies for trust can be found? Trust is a social matter, but even proxies for sociality are not trivial to identify (Johansson 2014). Probably the best proxy for human trust was identified by Hrdy (2011), in proposing cooperative breeding as a key innovation in human evolution. Ape mothers are paranoid about their babies, for good reason, and will not let anybody assist them. But in all human cultures, family and friends will routinely cooperate and help a mother with her children, and experienced women will serve as midwives in labor. This makes a huge difference for human fertility, our reproductive rate “in the wild” is roughly double that of other apes. This provides the Darwinian payoff needed to overcome the threshold of mutual mistrust, and paves the way for cheap linguistic communication.

    Midwife assistance in labor may facilitate language evolution also in another way, as it eases obstetric constraints on brain size.

    I will review here the fossil and archeological evidence indicating the presence among our ancestors of the modern human pattern of cooperative breeding and labor assistance. The conclusion is that the first midwife most likely was a Homo erectus… and maybe some millennia later a young erectus first cried “mama”, when left in the care of an auntie.

     

    Hrdy, Sarah Blaffer (2011) Mothers and Others. The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard University Press.

    Johansson, Sverker (2014) How can a social theory of language evolution be grounded in evidence? In Lewis, Jerome, Daniel Dor & Chris Knight (eds.) Social Origins of Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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  • 40.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, Medie-, litteratur- och språkdidaktik.
    Neanderthals between Man and Beast: A Comment on the Comments of Barceló-Coblijn & Benítez-Burraco (2013)2013Ingår i: Biolinguistics, ISSN 1450-3417, Vol. 7, s. 217-227Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
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  • 41.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Neanderthals did speak, but FOXP2 doesn't prove it2014Ingår i: Behavioral and Brain Sciences, ISSN 0140-525X, E-ISSN 1469-1825, Vol. 37, nr 6Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Ackermann et al. treat both genetic and paleoanthropological data too superficially to support their conclusions. The case of FOXP2 and Neanderthals is a prime example, which I will comment on in some detail; the issues are much more complex than they appear in Ackermann et al.

  • 42.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Oil seepage would have drained offshore reservoirs in 20,000 years2005Ingår i: The Counter-Creationism handbook, Westport: Greenwood Publishing , 2005Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 43.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Origins of language: Constraints on hypotheses2005Bok (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    Sverker Johansson has written an unusual book on language origins, with its emphasis on empirical evidence rather than theory-building. This is a book for the student or researcher who prefers solid data and well-supported conclusions, over speculative scenarios. Much that has been written on the origins of language is characterized by hypothesizing largely unconstrained by evidence. But empirical data do exist, and the purpose of this book is to integrate and review the available evidence from all relevant disciplines, not only linguistics but also, e.g., neurology, primatology, paleoanthropology, and evolutionary biology. The evidence is then used to constrain the multitude of scenarios for language origins, demonstrating that many popular hypotheses are untenable. Among the issues covered: (1) Human evolutionary history, (2) Anatomical prerequisites for language, (3) Animal communication and ape "language", (4) Mind and language, (5) The role of gesture, (6) Innateness, (7) Selective advantage of language, (8) Proto-language.

  • 44.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Patterns of preposition use across World Englishes2019Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
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  • 45.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Pointer evolution points to the gradual evolution of hierarchical complexity2020Ingår i: The Evolution of Language. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (EvoLang 13) / [ed] Ravignani et al, Evolang organizing committee , 2020, s. 189-196Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Chomsky (e.g. 2010) and others regard unlimited Merge as the defining feature of language, that cannot evolve gradually. The neural implementation of Merge is not well understood (Rizzi 2012, Zaccarella et al 2017), but must involve something functionally equivalent to pointers in working memory. Every Merge requires two pointers, and full syntactic trees may require dozens. Other syntactic paradigms also need pointers.

    Humans do hierarchies in general better than chimpanzees. Any hierarchical thinking requires nested pointers in working memory, but they are neurologically expensive and degrade with depth (Crawford et al. 2016). Humans have larger working-memory capacity than chimpanzees, which has been proposed as key to human cognitive evolution (Read 2008, Coolidge & Wynn, 2005). Gradual evolutionary growth of pointer capacity will allow gradually increasing syntactic complexity, without saltations in the underlying computational machinery. Both depth degradation and pointer capacity naturally limit Merge even in modern humans, consistent with corpus data (e.g. Karlsson 2010).

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  • 46.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Possible and impossible hypotheses of language origins2004Konferensbidrag (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
  • 47.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    Protolanguage possibilities in a construction grammar framework2016Ingår i: The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference (EVOLANG XI) / [ed] S.G. Roberts, C. Cuskley, L. McCrohon, L. Barceló-Coblijn, O. Fehér & T. Verhoef, 2016Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Identifying possible stages of protolanguage critically depends on the underlying nature of language. Theories of language differ in evolvability, and in whether they permit protolanguage stages. In this presentation, I will study the protolanguage potential and evolva­bility of Construction Grammar. Postulating that CG is a biologically real description of language, its evolvability through a sequence of intermediate protolanguages is investigated.

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  • 48.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Ej akademianställd.
    På spaning efter språkets ursprung2019Bok (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
    Abstract [sv]

    Hur blev människan med språk? Var, när och varför bör­jade vi tala? Det är en av historiens stora gåtor. Än är vi långt ifrån en lösning, men med hjälp av så olika vetenska­per som arkeologi, neurologi, lingvistik och biologi kan vi numera dra några slutsatser, avfärda vissa äldre hypoteser och uppställa nya frågor.

    Med entusiasm och sakkunskap lotsar Sverker Johansson läsaren genom en djungel av ledtrådar och teorier. Sök­andet efter språkets ursprung börjar många miljoner år tillbaka i tiden, då dagens apor och människor gick skilda evolutionära vägar. Det slutar vid den punkt dit det går att härleda förlagorna till de språk som talas i dag, det vill säga för omkring fem tusen år sedan. Däremellan får vi stifta bekantskap med Homo erectus och neandertalare, med Darwin och Chomsky, med delfiner och näktergalar, med syntax och interjektioner.

    Men hela tiden tycks spåren leda tillbaka den omväl­vande period för omkring en och en halv miljon år sedan, då våra förfäder i Afrika ställdes inför nya situationer och alltmer började skilja sig från övriga djur och där språket av allt att döma tycks ha spelat en nyckelroll.

  • 49.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Reflekterande examination2000Ingår i: Den reflekterande medborgaren / [ed] Hans Albin Larsson, Jönköping: Jönköping University Press , 2000Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 50.
    Johansson, Sverker
    Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping, HLK, Ämnesforskning.
    Sagan om hur allting började1996Övrigt (Övrig (populärvetenskap, debatt, mm))
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