RexRed
 
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 07:19 am
This thread is not only about the origin of languages but the beauty of the many human languages.

I tend to think that the many human languages come from our evolutionary link with birds and the various bird calls. That we in developing these many languages are mimicking our ancestral DNA that we obtained when we were once birds. Thus language is an innate part of our evolution and not just a necessity because someone needed a word for water or fire.

Thus the freedom of flight is passed on by birds to the song and language of the human voice.

Did languages spring up independently of do they all have a common source? Do bird calls have a common source or did they spring up independently of one another?

I have been trying to learn Spanish but now I have also added Italian. I just can't seem to get enough of these languages. I feel so awed by them.

I use a translator but can easily think of a time when there was no translator. Then all that was universal was maybe a hug or a handshake.

Is this awe that I feel for various languages derived from my DNA or is it learned?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 466 • Replies: 18
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RexRed
 
  2  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 08:29 am
It is beyond me why someone had to vote this thread down... Oh well... Some people think their native language is the only one that matters. Sad...
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 09:11 am
@RexRed,
I'm pretty sure we are not directly evolved from birds, and the "language" of other species has little resemblance to that used in human communication.

You need to distinguish between the sound tokens involved in "language" and its syntax. Human language appears to have a uniquely complex generative syntax and to some extent the fact that sound is a primary token is a physiological irrelevance. Sign language or writing are can convey much if not all of the semantic content.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 09:37 am
@fresco,
fresco wrote:

I'm pretty sure we are not directly evolved from birds, and the "language" of other species has little resemblance to that used in human communication.

You need to distinguish between the sound tokens involved in "language" and its syntax. Human language appears to have a uniquely complex generative syntax and to some extent the fact that sound is a primary token is a physiological irrelevance. Sign language or writing are can convey much if not all of the semantic content.


I was watching a documentary recently and they were studying the language of the Brahmans... They took the language into a computer and compared the "uniquely complex generative syntax" of the language and found it resembled no other human language but instead resembled the language of birds...

I tend to think our link to birds is much more than you give credit.

Even if we have some sort of common ancestry with birds the language DNA is present. Birds are the most vocal of species aside from humans. I personally am annoyed by most bird screeches but that is just me I guess. Smile




fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 12:03 pm
@RexRed,
Can you give any references ? I'm drawing a blank on google,
saab
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 12:32 pm
@fresco,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FOXP2

Rather complicated has to do with FOXP2 and how it mutated? so we can talk and others cannot. Mazbe zou can understand it better than I?
It has nothing to do with us humans evolving from birds.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 03:26 pm
@saab,
Thanks. I'll have a look at that tomorrow.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 20 Oct, 2010 04:11 pm
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 12:12 am
@RexRed,
Interesting video, but any correlation between religious chanting, genetics and bird song is a stretching it a bit !
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 12:34 am
@RexRed,
...Any similarity between Brahmin chanting and birdsong is much more likely to be a case of humans imitating animals in order to commune with "animistic spirits", than a result of gene sharing. Think for example of witch doctors donning animal masks, or cave paintings by primitive hunters "communing" with their quarry.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Oct, 2010 01:42 am
@RexRed,
For me it was also chanting, which has nothing to do with birds.
Chanting is used in almost every religion and other areas of life
Some examples include chant in African and Native American cultures, Gregorian chant, Vedic chant, Jewish liturgical music (chazzanut), Qur'an reading, Baha'i chants, various Buddhist chants, various mantras, and the chanting of psalms and prayers especially in Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican churches.

Chant practices vary. Tibetan Buddhist chant involves throat singing, where multiple pitches are produced by each performer. The concept of chanting mantras is of particular significance in many Hindu traditions and other closely related Dharmic Religions. For example, the Hare Krishna movement is based especially on the chanting of Sanskrit Names of God. Japanese Shigin , or 'chanted poetry', mirrors Zen Buddhist principles and is sung from the Dan tien (or lower abdomen) — the locus of power in Eastern traditions.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2010 09:40 pm
A few years ago, maybe longer, during 90's I think, good grief where does the time go... I remember hearing some, sadly not all, programs from a CBC radio series on the origin of music. I wish I could remember the host and/or find a link. If anyone remembers or knows of this radiocumentary, please, please, please can you get me the link...

Anywho, the first show was on the drone. The background noise, the hum of the bee, the roar of the ocean or waterfall, the growl of a dog, ohm, the underlying base of a pipe drum or bagpipe. The progression of sound, from our earliest moment to the latest trend.
The 2nd was the drum, heartbeat, footsteps, hoof beat, rhythm.
The 3rd??? Birds, flutes, singing, whistling... and so on.

you get the drift.
I'm pretty sure that the earliest language we spoke was mimicking, copying what we heard around us. How that correlates to language now, or why we have different accents or different words for the quack of a duck, I'm not sure. But it's interesting. I'll watch this doc later. Ta
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Oct, 2010 01:03 am
We from the beginning made sounds - no doubt about that.
Then came grammer but first of all syntax. A language with one word which would mean -" watch out a lion". Another word for "eatable fruit" Probably first sounds later words. But to remember one million words would have been difficult, so with maybe 1000 words one could make sentences which could be used into millions of possibilities.
That was the big and fantastic invention - that words could be put together into sentences.
This was needed in daily life. To tell which fruit was good and which was bad, to tell about good hunting areas and bad, but also for the soical life in a group. The possibility to express feelings, lie, manipulate, gossip - all this was also a great step from just grunting.
From here the grammer must come. One cannot say is/have all the time.
I can say "I was" or My yesterday I is". "My yesterday I got wet from water" is of course much more difficult than "It rained yesterday" . Also if I got wet from water can also mean I fell into water.
Developement of grammer was a great step forward in languages.
0 Replies
 
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Oct, 2010 06:59 pm
@RexRed,
I found this to be interesting! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuUAPVFFCRQ
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 29 Nov, 2010 07:51 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic wrote:

I found this to be interesting! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuUAPVFFCRQ


RL I have watched the videos you linked to several times. How amazing human language and writing truly is.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2012 03:10 am
The New Science of the Birth and Death of Words

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577285610212146258.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Mar, 2012 04:56 pm
@RexRed,
Thank you for sharing that was very interesting. I wonder what else will be discovered by using Google's massive collection of scanned books.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sat 7 Apr, 2012 07:33 pm
Most ancient Hebrew biblical inscription deciphered

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-01/uoh-mah010710.php
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2012 09:47 pm
Sci/Tech

'Earliest writing' found

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/334517.stm
0 Replies
 
 

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