Origin of Language

The origin of language in the human species has been the topic of scholarly discussions for several centuries. In spite of this, there is no consensus on its ultimate origin or age. One problem that makes the topic difficult to study is the lack of direct evidence, since neither languages nor the ability to produce them fossilizes. Consequently, scholars wishing to study the origins of language must draw inferences from other kinds of evidence such as the fossil record or from archaeological evidence, from contemporary language diversity, from studies of language acquisition, and from comparisons between human language and systems of communication existing among other animals, particularly other primates. It is generally agreed that the origins of language are closely tied to the origins of modern human behavior, but there is little agreement about the implications and directionality of this connection.

This fact that empirical evidence is limited has led many scholars to regard the entire topic as unsuitable for serious study. In 1866, the Linguistic Society of Paris went so far as to ban debates on the subject, a prohibition which remained influential across much of the western world until late in the twentieth century. Today, there are numerous hypotheses about how, why, when, and where language might first have emerged. It might seem that there is hardly more agreement today than there was a hundred years ago, when Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection provoked a rash of armchair speculations on the topic. Since the early 1990s, however, a growing number of professional linguists, archaeologists, psychologists, anthropologists, and others have attempted to address with new methods what they are beginning to consider "the hardest problem in science".

Read more about Origin Of LanguageApproaches, Communication, Speech and Language, Cognitive Development and Language, Biological Scenarios For Language Evolution, Biological Foundations For Human Speech

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Origin Of Language - History - Genesis of Nicaraguan Sign Language
... The center did not have access to teaching facilities of any of the sign languages that are used around the world consequently, the children were not taught any sign ... The language program instead emphasized spoken Spanish and lipreading, and the use of signs by teachers limited to fingerspelling (using simple signs to sign the alphabet) ... As more and younger children joined, the language became more complex ...
René Girard - Girard's Thought - Origin of Language
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Archaic Homo Sapiens - Origin of Language
... Robin Dunbar has argued that Archaic Homo sapiens were the first to use language ... that it was not possible for Hominids to live in such large groups without using language, otherwise there could be no group cohesion and the group would ...

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