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Early Pre-historic Homo Sapien Sapiens and Language

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posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 02:06 AM
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Now they say our species has existed over 250,000 years ago. Now, I have always wondered how long it would have taken the first humans to make simple language and simple writing. They would of course built upon it to make it complex over series of many many generations, I would assume.

I would think that it would have started out as small hand gestures and grunts. Mostly they would have read eachothers facial expressions and emotions. Drawings would display meanings and such. It would have been hard to pass on knowledge one generation to another without writing. This is why I would assume also that it took A LONG time before language became complex enough to share ideas.

Anyone have any input? or criticism?




posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 02:20 AM
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no real critic from me, language started of rudimentary, and probably went along slowly for awhile. makes a good bit of sense.
Cave painting shows they relied on symbolism and, probably, story telling before they had ways to write down everything.
Type of animals, hunting practices, even a few "I was here" marks like hand prints.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 02:28 AM
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Hey I meet people every day who still can't talk straight

Come to think of it, is that what politicians are? Linguistic throwbacks who babble away and can't convey anything but the simplest most general thoughts and emotions?





posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 02:28 AM
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nice. I think its sad somtimes when people don't realize how far we come. They just assume we popped up out of nowhere knowing everything we know. It took a very long time and a series of many many innovations upon innovations and inventions to get to where we are today.

I hate when they call cavemen stupid. They were as much capable of learning as we are now.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 09:17 AM
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There's a whole field of study on this -- linguistics and communication. Pre homo sapiens undoubtedly had language in some form. It didn't just arise when the first homo sapiens showed up.

Animals have their own languages... am in a hurry or would go into this in rather boring detail. Suffice it to say that they're not like human languages... check out the work of Chomsky, for starters.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 10:13 AM
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There was one theory that the rapid rise of mankind right before the start of the agricultural revolution was due to an improvement of language organization. Good theory but we've found enough isolated tribes to disprove that-or did we? Could a radical improvement in communication have driven man rise to civilization?

Probably not as children seem to be 'hardwired' to learn languages and if not presented with one will make up their own. That hard wiring may have been around for as long as we've had archaic homo-sapiens.

Given its 'soft' status the timelines for the acquistion of language will remain in shadows.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 10:33 AM
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I find it interesting that people who speak a different language from one another have no problems in communicating via hand language, gestures etc.

The gestures etc. are all the same from race to race from what I've seen.


A modern hunter would have no problems fitting in with an ancient hunting party imo....



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 10:44 AM
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Howdy Desert Dawg

I'd disagree with that a number of gestures mean very different things between cultures.

I've not seen on the web a discussion of purely hunting gestures thou.

Shaking the head up and down means yes in some cultures, no in others.



Beckon with index finger. This means “Come here” in the U.S. To motion with the index finger to call someone is insulting, or even obscene, in many cultures. Expect a reaction when you beckon to a student from the Middle or Far East; Portugal, Spain, Latin America, Japan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. It is more acceptable to beckon with the palm down, with fingers or whole hand waving.

Form a circle with fingers to indicate “O.K.” Although this means “O.K.” in the U.S. and in many countries around the world, there are some notable exceptions:

In Brazil and Germany, this gesture is obscene.
In Japan, this means “money.”
In France, it has the additional meaning of “zero” or “worthless"

Pass an item to someone with one hand. - In Japan this is very rude. Even a very small item such as a pencil must be passed with two hands. In many Middle and Far Eastern countries it is rude to pass something with your left hand which is considered “unclean.”



Gestures



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Hanslune

Howdy Desert Dawg

I'd disagree with that a number of gestures mean very different things between cultures.

I've not seen on the web a discussion of purely hunting gestures thou.

Shaking the head up and down means yes in some cultures, no in others.



Beckon with index finger. This means “Come here” in the U.S. To motion with the index finger to call someone is insulting, or even obscene, in many cultures. Expect a reaction when you beckon to a student from the Middle or Far East; Portugal, Spain, Latin America, Japan, Indonesia and Hong Kong. It is more acceptable to beckon with the palm down, with fingers or whole hand waving.

Form a circle with fingers to indicate “O.K.” Although this means “O.K.” in the U.S. and in many countries around the world, there are some notable exceptions:

In Brazil and Germany, this gesture is obscene.
In Japan, this means “money.”
In France, it has the additional meaning of “zero” or “worthless"

Pass an item to someone with one hand. - In Japan this is very rude. Even a very small item such as a pencil must be passed with two hands. In many Middle and Far Eastern countries it is rude to pass something with your left hand which is considered “unclean.”



Gestures




Agreed, but I was thinking more along the lines of:

Open hand during a meet-up of strangers.

Hand up for stop.

Motioning for the others to get down low.

To be quiet.

Follow me.

Point out a direction.


I note too, that many facial expressions transcend the spoken word.
Subtle movements with the eyes, slight squint of the eyes etc.

All of which would help lead to understanding the spoken word of languages different from yours.



posted on Aug, 27 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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I'm sure the Leakey foundation or someone else would have looked into question. There is a study of hunter-gather gestures out there somewhere. It would be interesting to compare that to Chimpanzee gestures and actions when hunting.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 04:32 PM
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We can date the emergence of writing with a little accuracy. Cuniform is generally considered the first full or "robust" writing system, about 3,500 BCE. There have been some interesting discoveries of earlier examples of proto-writing, but it is unclear whether these forms of script are actually reproducing the syntactical structures of language.

As for language, we don't have any solid evidence to know when it emerged precisely. The most accurate we can push our current knowledge of the history of languages is about 10,000 years ago. We assume people spoke before this time, given the highly symbolic artifacts they have left us, we just don't have any solid evidence of what linguistically was happening before 10,000 years ago.

There's lots of speculation about the how and why of language formation. It is to a large extent hard wired into our brains. See Steven Pinker for some readable accounts of this, and Noam Chomsky for the denser, seminal work in the generative structures of language.



posted on Aug, 28 2008 @ 10:29 PM
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reply to post by Toromos
 


Thanks Toromos

In Mesopotamia clay objects were used to account for stuff and that seems to have evolved into writing. As for speech we probably will never know unless we get some sorta time machine.

Who is the avatar, he seems familar?



posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 12:29 AM
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Thanks for the info and the point of the right direction everyone.



posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 03:58 AM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by Toromos
 

Who is the avatar, he seems familar?


Ludwig Wittgenstein, an Austrian philosopher of the 20th Century. Many regard him as one of the most influential philosophers ever, affecting work in logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of psychology. I've always liked this picture of him; he just seems so intense.



posted on Aug, 29 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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Yes I had run across him before in my study of early aviation.



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