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Language origin?? #4871
08/02/00 08:03 PM
08/02/00 08:03 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 5
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yooper Offline OP
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yooper  Offline OP
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I'm a new user to this forum, and thought I'd ask an intriguring, yet somewhat silly question.
How did the first grunts of the caveman turn into the words we use today?? In other words, how did something like uhug, uhug evolve into words like 'table' and 'fire' etc. And who was it that decided that these new sounds will represent objects and ideas? Also, any links would be appreciated.


Re: Language origin?? #4872
08/02/00 08:22 PM
08/02/00 08:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 10,538
this too shall pass
tsuwm Offline
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tsuwm  Offline
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this too shall pass
wow!! why fool around with the little questions?

conjecture abounds. a google search turns up 4240 hits on "origin of language" and 1130 more on "language origin". I feel justified here in saying YSLIU (you should look it up).


Re: Language origin?? #4873
08/02/00 09:39 PM
08/02/00 09:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 5
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yooper Offline OP
stranger
yooper  Offline OP
stranger
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Thanks Tsuwm for the info, I should have done this before.


Re: Language origin?? #4874
08/02/00 11:42 PM
08/02/00 11:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 11,613
Louisville, Kentucky
Jackie Offline
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Jackie  Offline
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Welcome, yooper, and good luck. P'raps you'd be so kind as to let us lazy ones know what you find. I've wondered that very same thing myself. Never occurred to me that I COULD
look it up.


Re: Language origin?? #4875
08/03/00 12:26 AM
08/03/00 12:26 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 5
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yooper Offline OP
stranger
yooper  Offline OP
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I found a few good links that should help to enlighten us all. The mystery still goes on though. . .
http://www.mtco.com/~mgboyd/origin.htm
http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/science/DailyNews/babbling000420.html




Re: Language origin?? #4876
08/03/00 01:32 PM
08/03/00 01:32 PM
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Posts: 3,065
Jakarta
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Bingley Offline
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Jakarta
A book (remember those?) I found interesting on this topic, although I'm not sure I understood it 100%, is Terrence Deacon's "The Symbolic Species". The basic thesis is that the ability to think in symbols came first, enabling the brain and language to evolve in a virtuous spiral, each reinforcing and improving the other.

Bingley


Bingley
Re: Language origin?? #4877
08/03/00 02:08 PM
08/03/00 02:08 PM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 6,511
lower upstate New York
AnnaStrophic Offline
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yooper,
Here's a good site: http://www.emich.edu/~linguist/
It offers "Ask a Linguist" ... if you give it a try, please report back.


Re: Language origin?? #4878
08/04/00 01:39 PM
08/04/00 01:39 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 3,467
Marion NC
TEd Remington Offline
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TEd Remington  Offline
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>>>>A book (remember those?) I found interesting on this topic, although I'm not sure I understood it 100%, is Terrence Deacon's "The Symbolic Species". The basic thesis is that the ability to think in symbols came first, enabling the brain and language to evolve in a virtuous spiral, each reinforcing and improving the other.

I'm in the process of critiquing the first draft of a book by an old friend of mine, A charming fellow named Arnold Mysior, whose book is called The Triumph of Stupidity.

His take on this is that language evolved only after there was self-awareness. When the first man looked at his reflection in the water and realized that he was that thing in the water, there had to be a language to ask the question, "Who am I? and then and only then there was the birth of language.




TEd
Re: Language origin?? #4879
08/04/00 08:42 PM
08/04/00 08:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 5
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yooper Offline OP
stranger
yooper  Offline OP
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Hi Jackie. I included some links that go into detail on this subject. What fasinates me is, who, or what group of people decided that a certain group of sounds would mean something?? example: you grunt something to imply meaning to an object or idea, and I grunt another to denote the same thing, who decides who's grunt will be the standard?? Deep questions. . .
I'll be sure the share any further information that I find on this matter.




Re: Language origin?? #4880
08/04/00 08:45 PM
08/04/00 08:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 5
Y
yooper Offline OP
stranger
yooper  Offline OP
stranger
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Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 5
Thanks for the site Anna!! I'll be sure to check it out in a little while and let you know what I find. Thanks again!



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