Evolution of Language | Curious Questions with Answers | Educational Videos by Mocomi Kids


Language developed as the human species evolved. Development of language sets us apart from
our closest relatives, the chimpanzees. No other natural communication system is like
human language. Human language can express thoughts, convey
information, ask questions and give orders. In contrast, animal can only communicate immediate
issues such as food, danger, threat, or reconciliation. So how did language begin? Did a bunch of cavemen hold a conference and
decide to make up language? Obviously not. One theory is that hominids (our human ancestors)
started by grunting, hooting and crying out, and this gradually developed into the language
we use today. But apes could grunt and hoot as well. Why did their grunting not evolve into a ‘language’? Because 6 million years ago the hominid and
chimpanzee lines diverged. The size of the hominid brain increased and
developed over time, while chimpanzee brain remained the same. Another theory is that language began as sign
language and then switched to the vocal modality Some have also argued that language evolved
independently in different parts of the world. However, a recent study shows that all languages
in the world evolved from one prehistoric language first spoken in Africa tens of thousands
of years ago, and then spread across the world with the migration of our ancestors when they
left Africa 70,000 years ago. So, do languages stay the same over the generations? Languages change as they are handed down from
generation to generation due to change in culture and influence of other languages. That is why the English spoken in the Elizabethan
Era is way different from the English we speak today. The subject of language and its evolution
is still undergoing lively investigation among linguists, psychologists, and biologists.

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