The history of language is a family tree that maybe began with a single stalk.

They say that 5% of any two languages will show similarities, as if that proves the insignificance of any similarities when in fact it may show just the opposite. They may well have all derived from just a very few, maybe just one. Don’t be surprised if that evolution parallels the evolution of homo sapiens sapiens themselves, if not directly, then by analogy. Whether there is any direct connection between language and DNA or not, they seem to function similarly in how they evolve over time. Much is made of the fact that homos are the only species that can speak, then going into elaborate explanations of the human vocal chords having worked their way deep into the throat for proper enunciation of modern languages. All this seems a bit anthropocentric to me, diminishing if not outright ignoring or rejecting the fact that communication can be equally, if not more, effective in other ways. If anything, humans’ own writing systems are more articulate than the speech they represent, but which may never actually be vocalized, particularly in the case of mathematical equations. Beyond the human sphere, other animals convey rather complex information, which, while it cannot be properly regarded as speech, is certainly a form of communication, i.e. transfer of information.

Advertisements