Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-kpmwg Total loading time: 0.204 Render date: 2021-12-01T07:33:20.701Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

6 - Origins of the language: Correlation between brain evolution and language development

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2010

Steven M. Platek
Affiliation:
Georgia Gwinnett College
Todd K. Shackelford
Affiliation:
Florida Atlantic University
Get access

Summary

Introduction

The question about when and how language emerged in human evolution has been a major and intriguing question since at least the classical Egyptian times. It is reported that the Pharaoh Psamtik took two children to be raised by deaf-mutes, in order to find out what was the first and natural language. When these children were later observed, one of them said something that sounded like bekos, the Phrygian word for bread. From this, Psamtik concluded that Phrygian was the first and original language. During the following centuries, the origin of language continued as a most intriguing and polemic question. Different approaches and interpretations were proposed throughout history. At a certain point the debate became so complex and hot that in 1866 the Linguistic Society of Paris banned discussion of the origin of language, arguing that it is an unanswerable problem.

Contemporary research on linguistics, archeology, comparative psychology and genetics has significantly advanced understanding of the origins of human language (e.g., Bickerton, 1990; Corballis, 2002, 2006; Enard et al., 2002; Mallory, 1989; Nowak and Krakauer, 1999; Ruhlen, 1994; Swadesh, 1967; Tallerman, 2005). Different disciplines have contributed from their own perspective to make the human communication system more comprehensible.

The purpose of this paper isnot to further review anddiscuss thehistorical origins of language, but to relate what is known (or supposed) on the origins of language, with contemporary neurology and neuropsychology data, particularly with the area of aphasia.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
4
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×