Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

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| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Müller’s Language Hypotheses

  • Demetra Themistocleous
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1116-1



Early speculative hypotheses concerning the origin of spoken language proposed by Friederich Max Müller.


Müller was a German philologist who proposed some early theoretical formulations concerning the origins of language. After the publication of the On the Origin of Species (Darwin 1859), Müller was fascinated of the idea of human evolution. The tradition of giving disparage names to the theories regarding how language evolved commenced by him and this was an important factor in his campaign against Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Müller (1877) established associations between Darwin’s evolution on humans and many other ideas about development, and he concluded that languages are subjected to historical radical change. However, he later realized that he underestimated Darwin’s arguments and his suggestions concerning the history of human evolution. In 1864, Müller presented his Lectures on the Science of...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Demetra Themistocleous
    • 1
  • Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus