Language Anthro

Topics: Human, Human evolution, Linguistics Pages: 2 (645 words) Published: March 29, 2013
Language is something that may be defined in many ways such as; ethnic languages (Spanish, English, French), body language, sign language, etc… The key similarity between these mediums of language is that they are means of expression. These abilities are not simple functions preformed by any species, but complex mechanisms developed over thousands of years of evolution. There are many anatomical features that have continued to change and develop throughout the evolution of man, but one seems to have the largest impact, increased endocranial capacity. From primates to Australopiths to Hominins and on to Homo sapiens, the endocranial capacity has steadily increased (the only outlier is Neanderthal’s, they had a larger brain capacity, but the species went extinct) from genus to genus. The increased brain capacity is what allows for the development of intricate functions such as language. Without the increased cranial capacity, language wouldn’t have the opportunity to develop because the incredible complex conceptual features and the amount of brain power and space required to succeed linguistically would be far greater than the mere few hundred cc’s of space available even in the early Australopiths. There are many theories that have been posed explaining how language may have evolved into what it is today. One theory, the “Icon-Long Distance Resource Theory,” relates to the Hominins and their consumption of scattered resources. The sporadic resources made foraging for food very taxing, and pushed the Hominins to communicate in order to locate resources. Language in this case would be beneficial in the managing and assisting to locating foods and resources. Another theory, “The Symbolic Species” theory, is one that pertains to food as well. This theory, though, requires cooperation resulting in linguistic development in order to create and maintain reproductive units (pair bonds) and increase paternity certainty. Dunbar’s “from grooming to gossip” theory is proof...
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