INTROLIING[Introduction of Linguistic]


The Origins of Language and Animals and Human Language


By, Abi Rohmad/130511100141


1. The origins of language

a.      Origin of language

We do know that the ability to produce sound and simple vocal patterning(a hum versus a grunt, for example)appears to be an ancient part of the brain that we share with all vertebrates, including fish, frogs, birds, and others. But, is not human language.

b.      The divine source

As Sarasvati, wife of Brahma. A few experiment have been carried out, with rather conflicting result. If human infants were allowed to grow up without hearing any language around them, then they would spontaneously begin using the original God-given language.

c.       The natural sound source

The basice idea is that primitive word could have been imitations of the natural sounds which early men and women heard around them. When an object flew by, making a caw-caw sound, the early human tried to imitate the sound and use it to refer to the thing associate with the sound. When another flying creature made a coo-coo sound, that natural sound was adopted to refer to that kind of object. This type of view called “bow-wow theory”. Come from natural cries of emotion such as pain(ouch!, ah!).

d.      The social interaction source

Sounds of “yo-he-ho” is one of theory that the sound of person involved in physical effort could be the source of our language, especially when that physical effort involved several people an interaction had to be coordinated. The appeal is it places to development of human language in a social context. Early people must have lived in groups, if only because larger groups offered better protection from attack.

e.       The physical adaptation source

We can look at the types of physical feature human posses, especially those that are distinct from other creatures, which may have been able to support speech production. For example our ancestor made very significant transition to upright posture.

f.        Teeth, lips, mouth, larynx and pharynx

Teeth is sound that very helpful in making sound such as f or v. Lips help making sound like p or b. Mouth is relatively small compared to other primates. Tongue use to shape a wide variety of sound inside the oral cavity. Larynx containing the vocal folds or vocal cord. And the last pharynx is acts as a resonator for increased range and clarity of the sound produced via the larynx and the vocal tract.

g.      The tool-making source

The tool-making, or the outcome of manipulating  objects and changing them using both hands, is evidence of brain at work.

h.      The genetic source

Innateness hypothesis  would seem to point to something in human genetics, possibly a crucial mutation, as the source. Speculations about the origins of language moving away from fossil evidence and concepts taken from the study of genetics. The investigation of the origins of language then turns into a search for the special “ language gene” that only human posses.





2. Animals and human language

i.        Communication

When we talk about distinctions between human language and animal communication, we are considering both in term of their potential as a means of intentional communication.

j.        Properties of human language

Human are clearly able to reflect on language and it’s uses. This is reflexivity. Reflexiveness accounts for the fact that we can use language to think and talk about language itself, making it one of distinguishing of human language.

§  Displacement

Animal cannot effectively be use to relate events that are far removed in time and place. In contrast, human language users are normally capable of producing messages and then going on to say in fact. Property of human language is called displacement.

§  Arbitrariness

Aspect of relationship between linguistic signs and object in the world is describe as arbitrariness.

§  Productivity

Human are continually creating new expression and novel utterances by manipulating their linguistic resources to describe new object and situation.

§  Cultural transmission

Process whereby a language is passed on from one generation to the next is describe as cultural transmission.

§  Duality

Human language is organized at two levels or layers simultaneously. His property is called duality.

§  Talking to animal

 Spoken language directed by human to animal, apparently under the impression that the animal follows what is being said.The standard explanation is that the animal produces a particular behaviour in response to a particular sound-stimulus or noisy, but does not actually” understand” what the words in the noisy mean.


k.      Chipanzees and language

a)      Chimpanzee and language(1930s, by Luella and Winthrop Kellogg).

b)      Washoe(Beatrix and Allen Gardner).

c)      Sarah and Lana(Ann and David Premack).

d)      Nim(Hebert Terrace) which has controversy with washoe.

e)      Kanzi(son of Matata experimented by Sue Savaga-Rumbaugh)


l.        Using language

One solution might be to stop thinking of language, at least in the phrase ”using language”, as a single thing that one can either have or not have. Language does serve as a type of communication system that can be observed in variety of different situation.

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