This course will be recorded and sent out to all pre-registered participants to watch in their own time.
Due to licensing laws, we are unable to sell this course retrospectively.

Why Only Humans Have Language
with Prof. Robin Dunbar
Thursday 12th January 2023 5-6pm GMT

Language and speech, in the forms we have them, are unique to humans.

Why should that be?

I will suggest that they evolved in our lineage to bond the very large groups that we evolved, and probably only dates back around 200,000 years or so.

Although we do use it to say things about ourselves (a kind of advertising function), in fact we gain most of our information on this aspect of who we are from nonverbal cues.

Rather, the main function of speech seems to be to allow us to tell stories – everything from jokes to history to fiction.

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Attend this course for as little as £22.00.

Robin Dunbar MA PhD DSc(Hon) FRAI FBA is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford, an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, and an elected Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Anthropological Institute, the Finnish Academy of Science & Letters and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

His principal research interests focus on the evolution of sociality (with particular reference to primates and humans).

He is best known for the social brain hypothesis, the gossip theory of language evolution and Dunbar’s Number (the limit on the number of manageable relationships).

His publications include 15 academic books and 550 journal articles and book chapters.

His popular science books include The Trouble With Science; Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language; The Science of Love and Betrayal; Human Evolution; Evolution: What Everyone Needs To Know; Friends: Understanding the Power of Our Most Important Relationships; and How Religion Evolved.

Thursday 12th January 2023 5-6pm GMT

This course is free for Voice Study Centre's MA/PGCert students and £30 (VAT inclusive) otherwise.

If you would like to book a place on this course, please use the payment form in the 'Book Your Place' tab or email

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