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In Charles Darwin’s vision of the Origins of Language , early humans had already developed musical ability prior to language and where using it to “charm each other” . How did language begin? Words don’t leave artifacts behind writing began long after language did so theories of language origins have generally been based on hunches. For centuries there had been so much fruitless speculation over the question of how language began that when the Paris Linguistic Society was founded in 1866, its bylaws included a ban on any discussions of it. The early theories are now referred to by the nicknames given to them by language scholars fed up with unsupportable just-so stories.

it is an intriguing question, to which we may never have a complete answer: How did we get from animal vocalization (barks, howls, calls...) to human language? Animals often make use of signs, which point to what they represent, but they don’t use symbols, which are arbitrary and conventional. Examples of signs include sniffles as a sign of an on-coming cold, clouds as a sign of rain, or a scent as a sign of territory. Symbols include things like the words we use. Dog, Hund, chien, cane, perro -- these are symbols that refer to the creature so named, yet each one contains nothing in it that in anyway indicates that creature. In addition, language is a system of symbols, with several levels of organization, at least phonetics (the sounds), syntax (the grammar), and semantics (the meanings).

To answer the origin of language, every religion has its own explanation. In Islam, Prophet Muhammad said that human basically is animal that can speak. Talking about speaking, it is different than making sound, since in the process of speaking, it involves the process of thinking, and of course the only creature that can think is human. Another view said that God created Adam and "whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof" (Genesis 2:19). So the name of things were invented by Adam for the first time and it continually develops along with the development of mankind. In Hindu believes that, Sarasvati, Brahma's wife is the goddess of language, so all languages came from her. In addition, most all religions believe that God grands human with language

Moreover, some experts came to some experiments to test these theories. Psammetichus, an Egyptian pharaoh, around 600 BC believed that the original language was Phyrgian, after having an experiment to two newborn infants who lived with goats and a mute shepherd for about two years. Those children can uttered a Phyrgian word bekos, literally means bread instead of Egyptian language. Another similar experiment was also conducted by James IV of Scotland, in AD 1500, the result the children spoke Hebrew. However, some, in attempt to test these theories conducted experiments with subjects who lived in isolation and in the end the did not speak any language at all.

THE NATURAL-SOUND SOURCE This theory believes that the origin of language comes from the echo of nature. The early men and women imitated the sound that they heard from nature/ the things that produce that sounds to name the things. This theory believes that languageis onomatopoeic. However, in the modern linguistics, we know the term arbitrary, it refers to a concept in which the words in language are derived, the excerpt of this concept tells us how the language items have no direct connection with the concept they represent. Just say do you know about how a thing made of wood usually has square shape and four legs which function as the pair of chair is called table. Is there any direct connection between the word constructed from letters t, a, b, l, e with the above concept it represents? Note this; all letters in various languages in this surface of the earth are symbols. Or do you know how the crime of killing another person deliberately and not in self-defense or with any other extenuating circumstance recognized by law or in a simple words, an action causes the separation of soul from the body intentionally is called murder? And how the combination of qualities that makes something pleasing and impressive to look at, listen to, touch, smell, or taste is called beauty? There is no an adequate information how those words are originated, generally, we can only say that those words have been agreed by the language users. Those are the result of the convention among the language users in a society. The above concept is the simple description of what term arbitrary means. However, did you know that not all language or just say words are derived arbitrarily


Another proposal involving natural sounds has been called the “yo-he-ho� theory. The idea is that the sounds of a person involved inphysical effort could be the source of our language, especially when that physical effort involved several people and the interactionhad to be coordinated. So, a group of early humans might develop asetof hums, grunts, groans and curses that were used when they werelifting and carrying large bits of trees or lifeless hairy mammoths. The appeal of this proposal is that it places the development ofhuman language in a social context. Early people must have lived ingroups, if only because larger groups offered better protection fromattack. Groups are necessarily social organizations and, to maintainthose organizations, some form ofcommunication is required, even if itis just grunts and curses. So, human sounds, howeverthey wereproduced, must have had some principled use within the life andsocial interaction of early human groups. This is an important ideathat may relate to the uses of humanly produced sounds. It does not,however, answer our question regarding the origins of the sounds produced.

THE YO-HE-HO THEORY The idea that speech started with the rhythmic chants and grunts people used to coordinate their physical actions when they worked together. There's a pretty big difference between this kind of thing and what we do most of the time with language.

Physical adaptations Now that we know the general idea of the theory of the evolution of humans, let us discuss some of the physical prerequisites for language inhumans. Most languages are spoken in their most basic form and thus humans require the ability to pronounce consonants and vowels. This ability is only found in humans and not in other primates such as chimpanzees, evident in the role of descended larynx in humans. However, it is important to note that other non-primate animals have a descended larynx as well, but are unable to use language like humans.

Human language may have developed as a way to share and pass along tool-making skills, study suggests. Participants in tool-making experiments showed the importance of language in teaching the necessary skill vital to human evolution and progress.



The idea that speech arose from people imitating the sounds that things make: Bow-wow, moo, baa, etc. Not likely, since very few things we talk about have characteristic sounds associated with them, and very few of our words sound anything at all like what they mean.

2. THE POOH-POOH THEORY The idea that speech comes from the automatic vocal responses to pain, fear, surprise, or other emotions: a laugh, a shriek, a gasp. But plenty of animals make these kinds of sounds too, and they didn't end up with language.

3. THE DING-DONG THEORY The idea that speech reflects some mystical resonance or harmony connected with things in the world. Unclear how one would investigate this.

4. THE YO-HE-HO THEORY The idea that speech started with the rhythmic chants and grunts people used to coordinate their physical actions when they worked together. There's a pretty big difference between this kind of thing and what we do most of the time with language.

5. THE TA-TA THEORY The idea that speech came from the use of tongue and mouth gestures to mimic manual gestures. For example, saying ta-ta is like waving goodbye with your tongue. But most of the things we talk about do not have characteristic gestures associated with them, much less gestures you can imitate with the tongue and mouth.

6. THE LA-LA THEORY The idea that speech emerged from the sounds of inspired playfulness, love, poetic sensibility, and song. This one is lovely, and no more or less likely than any of the others.

• Communication in both animals and humans consists of signals. Signals are sounds or gestures that have meaning to those using them. • Human communication consists of both signals and symbols. Symbols are sounds, gestures, material objects, or written words that have specific meaning to a group of people.

Properties of Human Language

 Reflexivity  Displacement  Arbitrariness  Productivity  Cultural Transmission  Duality .

Humans are able to reflect. They are able to talk about, or reflect on language itself. Without this ability, we could not even talk about the other properties of language.

Humans can talk about the past, present and Future

There is no natural connection between a words form and its meaning.

Human vocabulary and sentences are infinite and openended.

we acquire our speech from the environment we are raised in ,culture, which includes our language , our accent our expressions

Human language is organized at two levels Phonetics and Phonology and Morphology.

ETYMOLOGY the history of a linguistic form (as a word) shown by tracing its development since its earliest recorded occurrence in the language where it is found, by tracing its transmission from one language to another, by analyzing it into its component parts, by identifying its cognates in other languages, or by tracing it and its cognates to a common ancestral form in an ancestral language

COINAGE A new word or expression.

BORROWING A word adopted from another language and completely or partially naturalized For Example very and hors d'oeuvre, both from French

COMPOUNDING Compounding is the morphological operation that in general puts together two free forms and gives rise to a new word. For Example

sunglasses - life-threatening football stadium


This is the combination of two separate forms to produce a single new term. For Example motorcade (motor + cavalcade)

CLIPPING This is the process of forming a new word by dropping one or more syllables from a polysyllabic word, such as cell from cellular phone. Also known as a clipped form, clipped word, shortening, and truncation. For Example: Liz, Ron, Rob, Sue


This is the process of forming a new word by removing actual or supposed affixes from another word

For Example emote from emoticon or enthuse from enthusiasm


This refers to the change in the function of a word, when a noun comes to be used as verb, is generally known as conversion. For example: You need to water the plants

ACRONYMS This is a word formed from the initial letters of a name or by combining initial letters of a series of words For Example: NATO from North Atlantic Treaty Organization

GRAMMAR Grammar is the system of a language. People sometimes describe grammar as the "rules" of a language; but in fact no language has rules.


This part of a speech refers to words that are used to name persons, things, animals, places, ideas, or events. Nouns are the simplest among the 8 parts of speech.

For Example:

dog – Mark - house

PRONOUN A pronoun is a part of a speech which functions as a replacement for a noun. Some examples of pronouns are: I, it, he, she, mine, his, hers, we, they, theirs, and ours.

ADJECTIVES This part of a speech is used to describe a noun or a pronoun. Adjectives can specify the quality, the size, and the number of nouns or pronouns.

FOR EXAMPLE big – huge - small

VERB This is the most important part of a speech, for without a verb, a sentence would not exist. Simply put, this is a word that shows an action (physical or mental) or state of being of the subject in a sentence.

FOR EXAMPLE work – sleep – is – are

ADVERB Just like adjectives, adverbs are also used to describe words, but the difference is that adverbs describe adjectives, verbs, or another adverb.

FOR EXAMPLE kindly - nastily

PREPOSITION This part of a speech basically refers to words that specify location or a location in time.


cONJUNCTION The conjunction is a part of a speech which joins words, phrases, or clauses together. FOR EXAMPLE

and, yet, but, for, nor, or, and so

IINTERJECTION This part of a speech refers to words which express emotions. Since interjections are commonly used to convey strong emotions, they are usually followed by an exclamation point.

FOR EXAMPLE Ouch! That must have hurt. Hurray, we won! Hey! I said enough!

Morphology is the study of the internal structure of words and forms a core part of linguistic.

In many languages, what appear to be single form actually turn out to contain a large number of “word like� elements.

Morpheme is a minimal unit of meaning or grammatical function. Units of grammatical function include forms used to indicate past tense or plural, for example: In the sentence the police reopened the investigation, the word reopened consists of three morphemes

Free Morphemes, that is, a morphemes that can stand by themselves as single words, for example:


Bound Morphemes, which are those forms that cannot normally stand alone and are typically attached to another form, for example:

RE- , -IST , -ED , -S

MORPHEMES What we have described as free morphemes fall into two categories. The first category is that set of ordinary nouns, adjectives and verbs that we think of as the words that carry the content of the message we convey.

some examples are:

girl – man – house – tiger – sad long Functional Morphemes some examples are: but – when - because



We use these bound morphemes to make new words or to make words of a different grammatical category from the stem. For example: The addition of the derivational morpheme –ness change the adjective good to the noun goodness

INFLECTIONAL MORPHEMES These are not used to produce new words in the language, but rather to indicate aspects of the grammatical function of a word. Inflectional morphemes are used to show if a word is plural or singular, if it is past tense or not, and if it is a comparative or possessive form.

Language and Regional Variation.

Standard languages arise when a certain dialect

begins to be used in written form, normally throughout a broader area than that of the dialect itself.

Accent and Dialect An accent is the way that particular person or group of people sound. It’s the way somebody pronounces words, the musicality of their speech, etc.

A dialect describes both a person’s accent and the grammatical features of the way that person talks.

What is the difference between dialect and accent? Accent, or pronunciation, is a special element of a dialect that needs separate attention to be properly understood.

The scientific study of differences in a language.

dialects, or the regional

Although to some extent dialectology is regarded subfield of sociolinguistics.

an autonomous discipline, by some linguists as a

This is one of the criteria used in the study of dialects or dialectology

dialectology has focussed on the geographical distribution of different accents and dialects, though it has begun to investigate social factors (such as age, gender and position in society) too.

Regional Dialects The existence of different regional dialects is widely recognized and often the source of some humor for those living in different regions A regional dialect is a distinct form of a language spoken in a particular geographical area. Also known as a regiolect or topolect. If the form of speech transmitted from a parent to a child is a distinct regional dialect, that dialect is said to be the child's vernacular. But the truth is, everybody speaks a dialect (or a lect, as some linguists would have it). It may be standard or nonstandard, urban or rural, but it's a distinctive form of the language all the same--a variety of the mother tongue that most of us learned in early childhood. To a linguist, no dialect is inherently better or worse than any other. The same goes for accents-though accents and dialects aren't quite the same. Your accent is simply the way you pronounce words. A dialect involves vocabulary and grammar as well as pronunciation. And dialects come in various overlapping shapes and sizes.

The dialect continuum

In present-day linguistics the term variety is used to refer to any variant of a language which can be sufficiently delimited from another variant. The grounds for such differentiation may be social, historical, geographical or a combination of these. The necessity for a neutral term such as variety arose from the loaded use of the term dialect: this was not only used in the neutral sense of just a regionally bound form of a language, but also with the implication that the linguistically most interesting forms of a language are those spoken by the older rural nonmobile male population.

Bilingualism and diglossia

Bilingualism is the ability of an individual or the members of a community to use two languages effectively. Adjective: bilingual.. More than half of the world's population is bilingual or multilingual: "56% of Europeans are bilingual, while 38% of the population in Great Britain, 35% in Canada, and 17% in the United States are bilingual".

In linguistics, diglossia "speaking two languages") refers to a situation in which two dialects or languages are used by a single language community. In addition to the community's everyday or vernacular language variety (labelled "L" or "low" variety), a second, highly codified variety (labelled "H" or "high") is used in certain situations such as literature, formal education, or other specific settings, but not used for ordinary conversation.

Language planning

Language planning is a deliberate effort to influence the function, structure, or acquisition of languages or language variety within a speech community.[1] It is often associated with government planning, but is also used by a variety of nongovernmental organizations, such as grass-roots organizations and even individuals. Goals of such planning vary; better communication through assimilation of a single dominant language brings economic benefits but also facilitates political domination of minorities.

Pidgins and creoles

A pidgin is a restricted language which arises for the purposes of communication between two social groups of which one is in a more dominant position than the other. The less dominant group is the one which develops the pidgin. Historically, pidgins arose in colonial situations where the representatives of the particular colonial power, officials, tradesmen, sailors, etc., came in contact with natives. The latter developed a jargon when communicating with the former.

This resulted in a language on the basis of the colonial language in question and the language or languages of the natives. Such a language was restricted in its range as it served a definite purpose, namely basic communication with the colonists. In the course of several generations such a reduced form of language can become more complex, especially if it develops into the mother tongue of a group of speakers. This latter stage is that of creolisation. Creoles are much expanded versions of pidgins and have arisen in situations in which there was a break in the natural linguistic continuity of a community, for instance on slave plantations in their early years.

The post –creole continuum The post-creole continuum or simply creole continuum refers to a situation wherein a creole language consists of a spectrum of varieties between those most and least similar to the superstrate language (that is, a closely related language whose speakers

assert dominance of some sort). Due to social, political, and economic factors, a creole language can decreolize towards one of the languages from which it is descended, aligning its morphology, phonology, and syntax to the local standard of the dominant language but to different degrees depending on a speaker's status.

It is generally agreed that language and culture are closely related. Language can be viewed as a verbal expression of culture. It is used to maintain and convey culture and cultural ties. Language provides us with many of the categories we use for expression of our thoughts, so it is therefore natural to assume that our thinking is influenced by the language which we use. The values and customs in the country we grow up in shape the way in which we think to a certain extent.


owledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

Is a group with certain features in common and we can think of the vocabulary we learn as an inherited set of category labels.




anthropology, the system of names applied to categories of kin standing in relationship to one another.

Time Concepts


we learn a word such as week or weekend, we are inheriting a conceptual system that operates with amounts of time as common categories.

We have treated differences in language use as evidence of different ways of talking about external reality .

Social Categories these are categories of social organization that we can use to say how we are conected or related to others.

what is gender ?

the differences between women’s and men’s interest even within the same household and how these interact and are expressed.

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