The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029
Free; advance registration is required.
Although other animals communicate vocally, they can’t sculpt the sounds into language. Our amazing, naturally-selected control over our breathing, our vocal cords, and our lips and tongue—resulting in the ability to communicate with spoken language—is what made a scattered band of small, biped primates in sub-Saharan Africa the dominant species on Earth. The theory of universal grammar, which sees language as a phenomenon that evolved for thought rather than communication, virtually erases the role of voice and speech in our evolution. In this talk, journalist and author John Colapinto discussed his new book, which explains why this role is so important.
View the Library collection items that were on display at the event and are available for adoption online as part of our Adopt-a-Book program.
About the Speaker
John Colapinto is a staff writer at The New Yorker and was previously a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he won a 1998 National Magazine Award for a story about a boy who underwent a sex change in infancy. This story became the bestselling book, “As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl.” His articles have also appeared in Vanity Fair, Esquire, Mademoiselle, and Us Weekly. His novel, “About the Author,” was nominated for an International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
Photo Credit: John Vincent