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Thread: the ORIGIN of langauge

  1. #1 the ORIGIN of langauge 
    Forum Bachelors Degree charles brough's Avatar
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    The origin of language can best be understood when its main function is taken into consideration, that is, its SOCIAL function . . .

    Language began to develop perhaps as soon as our Hominid ancestors branched away from the chimpanzi line. A most important milestone in human evolution is when language developed to the state where it could form whole world-views---WVs---and ways of thinking---that is, “religions.” That appears to have occurred before our last one hundred thousand years here on Earth.

    Once we had developed that lingual ability, the early human family-troop alpha males intuitively evolved a common way of thinking or WV. They evolved it in ways that fortified their dominant male concept of their hunting/gathering group as a unit, as a family whole, so that the dominant male’s world-view was verbally impressed on every young member of the family-troop. He manipulated his language faciliated whole world-view ideology to supplement the power he exercised through cues. This dramatically strengthened the social bond by promoting family-troop cooperation and cohesion, thus improving the efficiency with which he and his dominant cohorts led the rest.

    Such a development did not happen because of one dominant male, nor did it happen all at once, but over a period of tens of thousands of years, that did happen. The family-troop’s ability to obtain more food was enhanced, thus lowering the death rate and leading to an increase in human numbers on Earth.

    The general size of the human hunting-gathering family-troop has probably never changed, but the stronger and more successful ideologically-bonded family-troops themselves increased in number. Their belief-system was always a closed such system of thinking so it was able to bond the family-troops together into the first, single, society.

    This is a new theory; any comments?

    charles, http://humanpurpose.simplenet.com


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    language is used through out the animal kingdom, albeit not in the same sense but it does exist. Body Language, Facial expressions, Scents are all examples of communication in the animal kingdom; our vocal speech is just an extension of this but we still use the other methods very effectively to judge people and our surroundings


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    Humans have an ability to think in abstracts, luckily for science, I wonder if any animal has this ability? Hence our language has evolved to be very accurate. You also hear of the “language of music” which is complete nonsense. Animals can communicate some of the basics to you if you are prepared to spend the time getting close to them, having said this I wonder where this thread will lead?
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  5. #4  
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    The origin of language can best be understood when its main function is taken into consideration, that is, its SOCIAL function ...
    I think you need to qualify what you mean by *social* function. Language is a tool for communication. This is by definition a social function, involving the interaction of at least two individuals, but I suspect you meant something else.

    Animals use language in a variety of ways. Body language is a wide-spread concept: certain gestures are used to communicate information. Likewise, various sounds are used to diseminate simple messages. For example, some monkey species use a variety of calls to warn their group of dangers from above (hawk coming!) or below (snake coming!). I think it's fair to assume that such simple forms of language were long established before the human ability of abstract thinking has developed. Some basic forms of abstract thinking have been shown in animals as well, in particular with chimpanzees that demonstrate surprising skills to solve unfamiliar problems, which can only be explained by some ability of analytical thinking, however simple it may be.

    As for the social bonds within packs of humans, they require only very basic forms of language, not much different from the language wolves use within their packs. Just like wolves, chimpanzees, even ants, and many other animals with a fairly complex social structure, it seems likely that the social hierarchy of human societies has developed long before abstract thinking. Believe it or not, but abstract language and analytical thinking are actually not necessary for a society to function and interact in very complex ways. Though not necessary, abstraction, analytical thinking, and self-awareness are certainly milestones that provided huge potential.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman looking4recruits's Avatar
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    When the noises we make become "system-relevant", THEN we can call that A LANGUAGE.

    What "system"?

    Search your feelings.

    Know that there can be only one path ahead.

    The only path ahead............is survival.................
    if ever there was a time for opportunity, it is when opportunity has yet to define THIS "time"
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  7. #6  
    Jon
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    This doesn't make any sense.

    Alpha troop males? C'mon. Language is not just random communication. It's a specific result of the interaction of a finite grammar (or system of linguistic rules) with a finite lexicon to permit an infinite number of sentences, ideas, expressions, etc.

    What parrots do isn't language; it's mimicry. What dogs do isn't language; it's conditioning. What some special parrots do isn't language; it's mimicry and conditioning.

    A most important milestone in human evolution is when language developed to the state where it could form whole world-views---WVs---and ways of thinking---that is, “religions.”

    There are linguistic theories that argue, quite convincingly, that your language is not a representation of a world view, but rather your world view is a representation of your language.

    The general size of the human hunting-gathering family-troop has probably never changed
    Ya damn right it has!

    Anyway... what does this have to do with language? It seems all rather unrelated.




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  8. #7  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    Humans have an ability to think in abstracts, luckily for science, I wonder if any animal has this ability?
    There are reasonably strong indications that the other great apes can do this to a, limited, degree.
    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    You also hear of the “language of music” which is complete nonsense.
    What is nonsensical about it? Haven't you heard of metaphors? Moreover, anyone brought up in a western culture will interpret a minor key as sad, or melancholic, even if they have no idea what a minor key is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon
    Ya damn right it has!
    Intersting. Could you provide evidence that the size of the human hunting group has changed significantly any time over the last 100,000 years.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Die Fledermaus
    Humans have an ability to think in abstracts, luckily for science, I wonder if any animal has this ability?
    There are reasonably strong indications that the other great apes can do this to a, limited, degree.
    There are reasonably strong indications that the humans can do this, to a limited degree.

    :wink:


    (people capable of systematic abstract thought are rare and moreover these people usually limit themselves by adhering to abstract thought only under special circumstances, that is, formulating a scientific theory, or organizing thoughts necessary to formulate a scientific argument)
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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