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MaxCathedral

and then came Language....

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I can see some Neandrathal desperately looking for fire, and accidently creating it, or a Homo Erectus drawing his dreams and fears on some cave..

 

but language..how did that happen, and about when?

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I sense some mockery in this post.

 

Anyhow, I would like to know to. But remeber, just because science can't explain it at the moment, doesn't mean a fairy tale being that defys logic and physics is the one behind it!

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That may be a little unfair. The birth of language is a very interesting subject to a lot of people. It's not often used as a gambit by creationists.

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your right, after re reading my own post...I do sense some mockery..but I do expect to hear a legitimate answer about the evolution of language. Its earliest roots.

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I would anticipate that it arose of onomatopoeia, that would be common amongst even distant tribes. just a wild guess :)

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Well, to quote the All-Knowing Wikipedia

Scientists do not yet agree on when language was first used by humans (or their ancestors). Estimates range from about two million years ago, during the time of Homo habilis, to as recently as forty thousand years ago, during the time of Cro-Magnon man.
In other words, by posting this, I have wasted both my time and your's, mostly due to the fact that despite my good intentions, I utterly failed to answer any pertinent questions regarding what scientists do know, as well as the most popular modern theories, or even wild speculations. :-(

 

... Wait a gosh darn second!! I think I remember a documentary where they used DNA taken from Neanderthal "waste products" to determine whether or not their larynxes had dropped in a similar fashion as humans, thereby determining whether or not they possessed similar vocal abilities. Considering that I forgot the results of their testing and their final conclusion, this second reference was a total waste of everyone's time as well.

 

Cheers.

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I would anticipate that it arose of onomatopoeia, that would be common amongst even distant tribes. just a wild guess :)

 

I agree, I don't think the lowering of the larynx is paramount for language ( I feel it's possible that we could of attained good communication without this trait albeit not as verbally articulate.) Sound association, drawings, hand gestures are all effective ways of getting a message across.

 

I would of thought that 'when was the transition to cognitive thought and imagination' would be the question to the groundings of modern language. I might be wrong, but chimpanzees show no sign of creativity...do they ? Although cave paintings are blatantly copies of what early man saw, there is still a degree of imagination needed to convey their ideas onto erm...rock.

 

Sorry if I'm babbling a bit...a little hungover today.

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ISound association, drawings, hand gestures are all effective ways of getting a message across..

 

Max: and we still use hand signs, and voice inflections even today.

 

 

Sorry if I'm babbling a bit...a little hungover todayMax: and we still use hand signs, and voice inflections even today...

 

Max: What did you have to drink?

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There is always a need for commuication amoung animals. Think of the dance of the honeybee, for example. I think that by chance, the majority of humans favored the larynx as a method of communication (but not all, I think, how does that click language of that African tribe work??). Maybe evolution favored it.

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Depends on what you consider language to be. A useful start may be to think about what language is primarily used for.

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(but not all, I think, how does that click language of that African tribe work??). Maybe evolution favored it.

 

 

Max: You know I never thought of that..well said.

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The Ju/'Huansi tribe of Africa indeed does use their larynx for various clicks, probably all of them except the dental click, with is equivalent to our "Tsk, tsk, tsk." Their language evolved this way because the sounds of humans scare off the animals that they hunt. The clicks are more natural, and animals tend to ignore them.

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Originally Posted by ecoli

 

There is always a need for commuication amoung animals.

 

Is this what language is primarily used for?

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Chimpanzees and other apes posses some capacity for language. Chimpanzees and gorillas have learned sign language with a vocabulary of a few hundred words. They are even able to construct simple sentences and understand them. Chimpanzees can hoot and holler and make a variety of sounds, but they lack the physical ability to verbally reproduce the complex languages of man. If you assume that the shared ancestor of man and chimpanzee also possessed rudimentary abilities to vocalize and understand language then it is likely that our language abilities evolved from this capacity.

 

Chimpanzees live in an environment with a cornucopia of fruits and other plant matter to feast on. It has been suggested that the ancestors of the hominids were separated from its chimpanzee-like relative millions of years ago from some sort of physical barrier. The environment of the chimpanzee's ancestor remained lush with plenty to eat (like the Congo today) while the environment of the ancestors of man slowly dried out to a more savanna-like environment.

 

Chimpanzees periodically go on tribal hunts where they work together to catch monkeys or other prey for meat. The chimpanzees coordinate their hunts by vocalizing and making a variety of calls. You also notice by observing chimpanzees hunt that the members of the group that contribute more to the hunt get better spoils. The ancestor of man probably had to rely more and more on his hunting ability because his environment was becoming drier and there was less to eat from the trees. His ability to vocalize and communicate had become a priority for his evolution and it grew in leaps and bounds.

 

Written language developed much later than verbal language.

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your right, after re reading my own post...I do sense some mockery..but I do expect to hear a legitimate answer about the evolution of language. Its earliest roots.

 

 

Well, science tries to answer yours and my questions, but remeber, we are TRYING. Just because we don't have the answer doesn't mean any other illogical explanation will do.

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The Ju/'Huansi tribe of Africa indeed does use their larynx for various clicks, probably all of them except the dental click, with is equivalent to our "Tsk, tsk, tsk." Their language evolved this way because the sounds of humans scare off the animals that they hunt. The clicks are more natural, and animals tend to ignore them.

 

Max: Wowser...that is so trippy, but does make complete sense.

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