The Origins of Language

Topics: Language, Linguistics, Universal grammar Pages: 4 (1176 words) Published: May 16, 2012

The Origins of Language

Human beings since they are three years old have the capacity to use their speech mechanisms to make sounds that others can properly hear and understand, it is also said that there is a critical period pointed out by Erik Lenneberg (1957) that states that there are certain years (from 0-7) that a human being can learn a language properly, even a second language easier. Language is what makes us different from other species in our world, and it is a very important tool indeed, but for many years many researchers and scholars have wondered how language was originated. It is an intriguing question; how did we get from simple vocalization of sounds to a complex human language? The aim of this essay since there is a lack of direct physical evidence, is to list and develop some of the speculations that have arisen like: the divine source, the natural-sound source, oral-gesture one and tell a bit about glossogenetics and its advances in the physiological adaptation of the human being’s speech mechanism.

One of the first speculations about the origins of language was the divine source one, which stated that language came from a certain divinity, so that lead every religion in the world to come up with their own theories, with their own Gods performing acts or giving gifts to people, and that was the way they thought language was originated. For instance, there has been a lot of experiments done by different people throughout the centuries leaving children alone or neglecting them to test how the non-exposure to language affects in the development of this, and the results have been always the same, even though they have interpreted them in many ways like Yule (1996) stated in his book the study of language, the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichus who left two newborns infants with a mute shepherd and goats for two years and after that, he said that they learnt actual language the word ‘bekos’ that meant bread just by exposure to ‘goat’...
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