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Evolution of Language

How old is language? Is it a product only of Homo sapiens, or of other hominids as well? What was the first language like? Or does such a question even make sense?

No one knows the answers to these questions, but that doesn't mean we can't have a discussion about the evolution of language by narrowing down the possibilities with what we know from genetics, neuroscience, anthropology, and linguistics.

This discussion will be prefaced with a short introduction (15 minutes or so) outlining some of the facts needed to help us reach an informed inclusion. From there we will open up the floor so that everyone may contribute their ideas.

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    the discussion was good, but would have been better if it was more focused.

    October 7, 2012

  • Sung

    I have extensive study and research for proto linguistics, and universal proto alphabet, thru several primordial alphabet system of ancient and current Chinese ideograph, Phoenicia Greek, Korean, and western Latin German English alphabets.
    My approach is based on pure mathematical, geometric, and intrinsic phoneme value. I am in the stage of finalizing the universal alphabet system, usable to human and evolving advanced animal, and possible ET humanoid, and advanced conscious machine which is intrinsically self evolved artificial consciousness thru experience learning in rich sense perception environment...

    October 5, 2012

    • Alexey L

      Interesting. I'm just going to comment on "ET". Most likly it will be nothing like anything we know of, a recombination of different physical structures, ways to recognize patterns, medium to pass information, reflect on it and preserve.

      October 6, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Here is an interesting article on the role of language for the technology early humans: (free registration required, they will spam you a little)

    October 6, 2012

  • atrijez

    @ Patrick,

    Yes, but I found it irrelevant to the discussion. Here's the original text:

    For this discussion, let's use the papers listed here for Lera Borodistky:

    The original description of the topic was as follows:

    I like this idea because it gets to the symbolic significance at the root of the conversations (read: engagements) we choose to participate in.

    Some possible points of departure being:
    --Objective factuality as a scientific idea (or ideal).
    --Linguistic grammar in re semantic meaning content, and, syntactic formal context.
    --On one hand, logical description as that has qualitative relevance--as could be elaborated in terms of t'encyclopedic plasticity of social philosophy;
    --On the other, mathematical definitiveness in terms of quantitative relativity--as might be delimited in terms of our "dictionary" of physical empiricism.
    --The summary sense of social philosophy, and, the totative sense of physical empiricism.

    October 6, 2012

  • Dean D.

    please present an agenda - it looks too unstructured at the moment - thanks

    October 1, 2012

  • Gene L

    Is there anyone in this group who has a professional background in linguistics?

    September 28, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Atrijez - I'm looking for someone willing to lead the discussion or to find a video we can watch. I saw one on youtube by Gell-Mann which was interesting in its own way but not really exciting to watch. To lead the discussion all you have to do is prepare a set of discussion questions. It's just not a topic that I feel prepared to lead a discussion of myself.

    August 22, 2012

  • atrijez

    This event is never going to happen, is it...

    August 21, 2012

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