14 terms

1. The Origins of Language: The Study of Language - George Yule


Terms in this set (...)

When is spoken language suspected to have developed?
We suspect that some type of spoken language must have developed between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, well before written language (about 5,000 years ago).
The Divine Source
It states that language was given to humans by a divine source (God). Experiments were made in the past by an Egyptian pharaoh named Psammetichus, consisting of isolating newborns to see if they would spontaneously start speaking the original language.
1. The Natural Sound Source
It states that the origin of language came about from the sprung of words imitating sounds of nature, such as onomatopeya, interjections. There are two main theories: "Bow-Wow" theory, and "Pooh-Pooh" theory.
1.1 "Bow-Wow" theory
language arouse from the turning the sounds things make into words (onomatopoeia).
1.2 The "Pooh-Pooh" Theory
language arouse from the sounds humans make in emotional circumstances (interjections).
2. The Social Interaction Source (the "yo-he-ho" theory)
language arouse from the physical effort done by groups of people simultaneously, which required coordination; this is known as the "yo-he-ho" theory
2.1 the "yo-he-ho" theory
Language originated by the need to coordinate physical efforts done by groups of people which in turn led to the words that would indicate to start, stop, etc. Everyone's effort.
3. The Physical Adaptation Source
language arouse from the physical characteristics homo sapiens had to produce different sounds (teeth are not outward, lips have more muscle interlacing, mouth is smaller and can be closed and opened faster, tongue is shorter, thicker and more muscular, air path through nose can be closed to create more air pressure through mouth, the larynx (or voice box) containing the vocal cords dropped when upright position game about creating the long pharynx above the vocal chords for increase predication and resonance.
3.1 larynx
Also known as the voice box, contains the vocal cords and in humans it dropped when Homo sapiens adopted an upright position.
3.2 pharynx
A long caved above the larynx which helps with resonance allowing Homo sapiens to generate more precise sounds with better projection
4. The Tool-Making Source
By about two million years ago, there is evidence that humans had developed preferential right-handedness; toolmaking with both hands is evidence of brain at work. The human brain is larger in proportion to the body compared to other animals, and is lateralized and the area that controls the the motor movements involved in complex vocalization (speaking) and object manipulation (making or using tools) are very close to each other in the left hemisphere of the brain. It may be that there was an evolutionary connection between the language-using and tool-using abilities of humans.
4.1 lateralization
lateralization (lateralized): divided into a left side and a right side, with control of functions on one side or the other (used in describing the human brain)
5. The Genetic Source
language is innate to humans and no other animal seem to posses it. This idea produced The Innateness Hypothesis
5.1 The Innateness Hypothesis
the idea that humans are genetically equipped to acquire language