Tag: languageevolution

‘Iconic’ Sounds May Be Missing Link to Language

The missing link that helped our ancestors to begin communicating with each other through language may have been iconic sounds, rather than charades-like gestures—giving rise to the unique human power to coin new words describing the world around us, a new study reveals. It was...

Chimpanzee Lip-Smacks help Trace Evolution of Language

Chimpanzees produce lip-smacks at a speech-like rhythm of open-close mouth cycles, suggesting that speech-rhythm was built upon existing primate signal systems In the paper ‘Chimpanzee lip-smacks confirm primate continuity for speech-rhythm evolution’, published in Biology Letters, a consortium of UK-based researchers have found that the rhythm of chimpanzee lip-smacks exhibit a speech-like signature, which may provide the elusive key to...

Speech May Be Ten Times Older Than Previously Thought

Baboons communicating on beach
New research suggests that speech may not be dependent on the “descended larynx” which could mean that our ancestors were talking 20 million years ago For 50 years, the theory of the “descended larynx” has stated that before speech can emerge, the larynx must be in a low position to produce differentiated vowels. Monkeys, which have a vocal tract anatomy...

The Environmental Link to Language Evolution

According to new research by linguists from the University of New Mexico and Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage-CNRS in France, the characteristics of languages have a lot to do with the climate and topogrophy of the environment they emerged in. The study is a more in depth approach to analyzing why tonal languages seem to come from hot and humid...
Language Magazine