Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id AAA14287 (8.6.9/5.3[ref email@example.com] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from firstname.lastname@example.org); Mon, 15 Apr 2002 00:37:54 +0100 X-Originating-IP: [220.127.116.11] From: "Grant Callaghan" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Evolution of Languge Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 16:31:49 -0700 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed Message-ID: <LAW2-F81FnwpGR881Np00001789@hotmail.com> X-OriginalArrivalTime: 14 Apr 2002 23:31:50.0312 (UTC) FILETIME=[8D389280:01C1E40C] Sender: email@example.com Precedence: bulk Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
>Have just read an interesting piece on the evolution of language.
>Amy Perfors (2002)
>Simulated Evolution of Language: a Review of the Field
>Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation vol. 5, no. 2
>For some one who is not a linguist I gave, to my mind, a reasonable
>of language evolution, and the attempt to produce simulations of it.
>In particular the question of the innateness of language was addressed,
>along with communication and syntax. I haven't posted it as it is quite
>It mentions meme once.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were surrounded by
people who did not speak a word of your language? It is at times like this
that we appreciate our ability to communicate without language and can see
the antecedents from which language came. We manage to get by with hand and
facial gestures and making noises that carry no distinct meaning. We find
ourselves acting out scenarios we can't express verbally -- pretending to
put food in our mouths, making walking motions with our feet, pointing to
where we intend to go, and so on.
I think language developed as an adjunct to this kind of expression and
gradually took over as we became more clever at imparting more meaning to
our sounds and increased the number of them we could work with. I think
such things as showing and telling stories about the hunt after it was over
and everyone was sitting around the fire began long before there was much in
the way of formal language. And it had tremendous survival value both as a
way of telling people what to watch out for and helping other members learn
successful hunting strategies and techniques. The tribe with the best
collection of tools, both intellectual and physical, had the best chance to
survive. They still do.
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