Studies of severe, monogenic forms of language disorders have revealed important insights into the
mechanisms that underpin language development and evolution. It is clear that monogenic mutations
in genes such as FOXP2 and CNTNAP2 only account for a small proportion of language disorders
seen in children, and the genetic basis of language in modern humans is highly complex and poorly
understood. In this review, we examine why we understand so little of the genetic landscape of
language disorders, and how the genetic background of an individual greatly affects the way in which
a genetic change is expressed. We discuss how the underlying genetics of language disorders has
informed our understanding of language evolution, and how recent advances may obtain a clearer
picture of language capacity in ancient hominins.
Mountford, Hayley S.Newbury, Dianne F.
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-11-13