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Theories Of The Origins Of Language By Rabia

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Theories Of The Origins Of Language By Rabia

  1. 1. Theories of the origins of Language <ul><li>The bow-bow theory: based upon the notion that speech arose through people imitating the sounds of environment, especially animal calls, the use of onomatopoeic words </li></ul><ul><li>The pooh-pooh theory : based on the evidence that speech arose through people making instinctive sounds </li></ul><ul><li>The ding-dong theory : postulates that speech arose because people reacted to the world around them, sound symbolism </li></ul><ul><li>The yo-he-ho theory: based on the notion that speech arose from physical environmental needs which produced communal, rhythmical grunts which later on developed into chants </li></ul><ul><li>The la-la theory: provides that if any single factor was responsible to initiate human language, it would be romantic-side of human life </li></ul>
  2. 2. Scientific evolutionary approaches Glosso-genetics: the study of the formation and development of human language <ul><li>The Evidence from Paleontology: Comparison of bony cavities and skulls of Neanderthal man, Cro-Magnon man (pre-30,000 BC) and modern man </li></ul><ul><li>No direct correlation between the size of a brain and the use of language </li></ul><ul><li>Whether primitive man had the physiological capacity to speak? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Casts of the nasal, oral and pharyngeal air passages of New born baby An adult chimpanzee A Neanderthal reconstruction An adult man
  4. 4. Nasal cavity pharynx Vocal folds epiglottis Soft palate tongue Oral cavity Nasal cavity Vocal folds epiglottis Soft palate tongue Oral cavity
  5. 5. Homo-Loquens <ul><li>Human vocal tract evolved from a non-human primate form </li></ul><ul><li>Speech is not merely the result of a system designed for breathing and eating </li></ul><ul><li>Developmental evidence: modern man can choke from food lodged in the larynx, monkey cannot </li></ul><ul><li>Speech has the survival value </li></ul><ul><li>Hominids: having human like vocal tracts as far back as 200,000 BC, but not sufficiently developed nervous system to control it </li></ul><ul><li>Singing, body movements be used as tools in the developmental period of the language </li></ul>
  6. 6. Three possible viewpoints to observe Was there ever an original language? <ul><ul><li>Monogenesis view: all languages have diverged from a common source, the result of cultural evolution or divine intervention; the difference in languages is because of the wave of migration; language universals </li></ul></ul>Original language L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6 L7 L8 L9 L10 L11
  7. 7. Polygenesis: The Opposite View <ul><li>Language emerged more or less simultaneously in several places </li></ul><ul><li>Language universals are the result of constraints which must have operated upon the early speakers; environmental or psychological </li></ul><ul><li>Convergence: as groups came into contact, their languages would influence each other </li></ul>Original languages L1 L1-1 L1-2 L2-1 L2-2 L2-3 L3-4 L3-2 L4-2 L4-3 L4-1 L2 L3 L4
  8. 8. Third possibility involving vast time-scale <ul><li>All existing languages may indeed have diverged from a common source, but this may have been just one line of descent from an earlier era when several independent languages emerged </li></ul>Original Languages Source of Al l extant languages L1 L2 extinct L3
  9. 9. Human Language <ul><li>Would generalized clucks and grunts be universally understood among all members of the same species? </li></ul><ul><li>These two elements of language can be set off against each other in a series of permutations and combinations to generate language endlessly in a framework which is both rule-governed and open-ended </li></ul>Language Commonly Accepted set of words Commonly Accepted system Of organizing words
  10. 10. <ul><li>Human language is much flexible and complete than animal language even that of advanced animals </li></ul><ul><li>Language differ from one another but their operating principles are same </li></ul><ul><li>All old languages were capable of doing everything </li></ul><ul><li>People spoke languages long before writing systems were developed </li></ul><ul><li>All people function on a binary system of utterance </li></ul><ul><li>Language has in-built mechanisms for change, adaptation, synthesis and compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Body gesturing especially the elements of stress and intonation are important in human communication and also grow side by side with language </li></ul><ul><li>Individual languages prosper or fade in parallel with the rising or falling fortunes of the cultures that support them </li></ul>