by KristinieC

Glottogony (Origin of language) tell us about the interesting facts of human evolution and living. Unlike writing, spoken language leaves no trace. At some stage of human evolution, several systems of verbal communication emerged from proto-linguistic and non-linguistic means of communication. Chimpanzees and humans split from a common ancestor about 4 million years ago. Since then all other humans, who may have given signs as to how language developed have vanished, there are no traces to track this.

Scholars of the modern world thought that the other languages of the world represented more ancient stages in the development of language, also Indo-European languages were considered as advanced languages. Today linguist experts agree that there were no primitive languages. Present humans speak languages which are complex in nature. In fact existing languages differ in the size of vocabulary and subjects covered with this vocabulary, all human languages possess the grammar and syntax needed, and could invent, translate, or share the vocabulary needed to express the full range of their thoughts.

All humans possess similar linguistic abilities and no child is born with a biological predisposition to adapt to a particular language. Any child who is left apart from his native language develops the languages from other communities, the lesson is that language is not inborn, in fact it is acquired through family, community and living with people i.e. Social phenomenon. The use of language is one of the most evident factors that distinguish Humans from many other animals.

According to some scholars the progression from animal grunts to full modern human language may have proceeded as follows. The first step by early hominids would be represented by monkeys, who produce different sounds under voluntary control. These sounds were considered to be instinctive reactions, but researches have shown that the monkeys were known to lie or to fake calls for specific reasons. The sounds they produce were overestimated as language though we are not able to understand the exact meaning or its significance.

During the course of human evolution brain size increased rapidly in a short period, bringing forth a new species. The first was the arrival of Homo erectus about 1.8 million years ago and the next was the existence of Homo sapiens 500,000 years ago. The increase in mental power would have enabled the hominids to increase their vocabulary, and progress from one word statement to two word or even multiple word statements. Analyzing their artifacts, the level of communication must have been low but possibly intermediate between humans and primates. Later it is found that they were able to communicate through their tongue pronouncing several words which are even used today. Captive apes using lexigrams produce strings of symbols to communicate in a pidgin like manner.

The greatest step would have been the progression from this simplified pidgin like communication to a Creole like language with all the grammar and syntax of modern languages. Scholars believe that this step could only have been accomplished with some biological change to the brain such as a mutation. It has been found that a gene – FOXP2 may have undergone a mutation allowing humans to communicate. Evidence shows that this change took place somewhere in Africa around 50,000 years ago, which rapidly brought significant changes in lexicon of the Homo sapiens, and is also apparent in the fossil record too.

Ultimately there is no full proof or scientific evidence showing the origin of languages, but still there are several assumption which shows that languages evolved with the evolution and development of brain. Animals do communicate but we are unable to understand their tongue. It is also believed that before any script was developed the humans were able to communicate among themselves. Researches are still doing a lot of investigation in this arena which is linguistic and we are hoping to find more about the birth of languages.

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