Becoming Eloquent: Advances in the emergence of language, by Dr Francesco d'Errico, Jean-Marie Hombert

By Dr Francesco d'Errico, Jean-Marie Hombert

Few subject matters of medical enquiry have attracted extra cognizance within the final decade than the foundation and evolution of language. Few have provided an an identical highbrow problem for interdisciplinary collaborations among linguistics, cognitive technology, prehistoric archaeology, palaeoanthropology, genetics, neurophysiology, desktop technology and robotics. The contributions provided during this quantity mirror the multiplicity of pursuits and learn technique used to take on this advanced factor, summarize new appropriate facts and rising theories, offer an up-to-date view of this interdisciplinary enterprise, and, while attainable, search a destiny during this extensive box of research.

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Other marine shells interpreted as beads come from the ca. €2009). They consist of ten naturally perforated Glycymeris insubrica shells (Figure 8). €2009). Naturally perforated still underscribed Glycymeris shells in Mousterian contexts are also present at Ras el Kelb Cave on the Lebanese coast and in Layer C of Sefunim Rockshelter in Israel (Lamdan 1984; Ronen 1984; Reese 1998). Unresolved evidence for a very ancient bead use come from a few Acheulean sites in Northern Europe. Excavations at a number of these sites at the end of the 19th century yielded fossil sponges belonging to the Late Cretaceous species Porosphaera globularis.

2003) demonstrated that humans possess significantly larger canals than any other species except gorillas, but there is considerable overlap with chimpanzees. Australopithecus afarensis is well within both human and gibbon ranges, as are the indices computed for selected representatives of fossil Homo. This suggests that the relative size of the hypoglossal canal is neither a reliable nor sufficient predictor of human-like speech capabilities. In sum, we can now consider it a fact and not a hypothesis that the Neanderthal larynx was situated low in the throat, as in Homo sapiens.

Such a date-range is still too recent to allow us to directly challenge the idea of a strict link between these innovations and biological change. However, the sophistication they exhibit at that first appearance in the archaeological record, circa 36 ka, could be consistent with a very lengthy antecedence. This is likely to have been incremental or discontinous rather than linear, involving several major cognitive leaps. Of these the acquisition of the ‘finger-hole Origin of language: Archaeology and palaeanthropology  principle’ to achieve serial tunings from one pipe, in place of an array of separately tuned single-tone pipes, would perhaps have represented the biggest step change.

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