Re:Fwd: Instinctive speech diminishes us not

From: Philip Jonkers (
Date: Thu Nov 08 2001 - 00:41:35 GMT

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    Subject: Re:Fwd: Instinctive speech diminishes us not
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    What about the genes that set the physiological stage to perform
    speech? If language truly has genetic roots then not only should we
    able to find genes that show evidence of language processing in the
    brain but also genes that enable us to communicate language structures.
    I'm thinking about genes that shape the throat and vocal cords in such
    a way that these organs can do more than simply utter `aaaahhhh' and
    `oo, oo, oo, ehhhhh....'. I think a great deal more of physiological
    sophistication is needed in order to communicate in language than the
    vocal apparates primates have.

    In other words, if language is truly cultural, as a lot of hard-nosed
    should-not-be-academic romantics like us to believe, then there really
    should not be many physiological differences between humans and primates.

    My intuition, of course, is that there are significant differences
    (I guess I read that in the Meme-Machine) and therefore I contend that
    language does have genetic roots.


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