The origin of language english language essay

The Common Core asks students to read stories and literature, as well as more complex texts that provide facts and background knowledge in areas such as science and social studies. This stresses critical-thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are required for success in college, career, and life.

The origin of language english language essay

Approaches[ edit ] One can sub-divide approaches to the origin of language according to some underlying assumptions: Some theories see language mostly as an innate faculty—largely genetically encoded. Other theories regard language as a mainly cultural system—learned through social interaction.

Noam Chomskya prominent proponent of discontinuity theory, argues that a single chance mutation occurred in one individual in the order ofyears ago, installing the language faculty a component of the mid-brain in "perfect" or "near-perfect" form. Among those who see language as mostly innate, some—notably Steven Pinker [7] —avoid speculating about specific precursors in nonhuman primates, stressing simply that the language faculty must have evolved in the usual gradual way.

Those who see language as a socially learned tool of communication, such as Michael Tomasellosee it developing from the cognitively controlled aspects of primate communication, these being mostly gestural as opposed to vocal. A very specific social structure—one capable of upholding unusually high levels of public accountability and trust—must have evolved before or concurrently with language to make reliance on "cheap signals" words an evolutionarily stable strategy.

Because the emergence of language lies so far back in human prehistorythe relevant developments have left no direct historical traces; neither can comparable processes be observed today.

Despite this, the emergence of new sign languages in modern times— Nicaraguan Sign Languagefor example—may potentially offer insights into the developmental stages and creative processes necessarily involved.

Few dispute that Australopithecus probably lacked vocal communication significantly more sophisticated than that of great apes in general, [30] but scholarly opinions vary as to the developments since the appearance of Homo some 2. Some scholars assume the development of primitive language-like systems proto-language as early as Homo habiliswhile others place the development of symbolic communication only with Homo erectus 1.

Using statistical methods to estimate the time required The origin of language english language essay achieve the current spread and diversity in modern languages, Johanna Nichols —a linguist at the University of California, Berkeley —argued in that vocal languages must have begun diversifying in our species at leastyears ago.

Atkinson [12] suggests that successive population bottlenecks occurred as our African ancestors migrated to other areas, leading to a decrease in genetic and phenotypic diversity. Atkinson argues that these bottlenecks also affected culture and language, suggesting that the further away a particular language is from Africa, the fewer phonemes it contains.

The results suggest that language first evolved around 50,—, years ago, which is around the time when modern Homo sapiens evolved. The pooh-pooh theory saw the first words as emotional interjections and exclamations triggered by pain, pleasure, surprise, etc.

The origin of language english language essay

The yo-he-ho theory claims language emerged from collective rhythmic labor, the attempt to synchronize muscular effort resulting in sounds such as heave alternating with sounds such as ho. Problems of reliability and deception[ edit ] Further information: Signalling theory From the perspective of signalling theory, the main obstacle to the evolution of language-like communication in nature is not a mechanistic one.

Rather, it is the fact that symbols—arbitrary associations of sounds or other perceptible forms with corresponding meanings—are unreliable and may well be false.

Animal vocal signals are, for the most part, intrinsically reliable. We trust the signal, not because the cat is inclined to be honest, but because it just cannot fake that sound. Primate vocal calls may be slightly more manipulable, but they remain reliable for the same reason—because they are hard to fake.

Monkeys and apes often attempt to deceive each other, while at the same time remaining constantly on guard against falling victim to deception themselves. Language is ruled out because the best way to guard against being deceived is to ignore all signals except those that are instantly verifiable.

Words automatically fail this test. Should they turn out to be lies, listeners will adapt by ignoring them in favor of hard-to-fake indices or cues.

For language to work, then, listeners must be confident that those with whom they are on speaking terms are generally likely to be honest. This property prevents utterances from being corroborated in the immediate "here" and "now". For this reason, language presupposes relatively high levels of mutual trust in order to become established over time as an evolutionarily stable strategy.

This stability is born of a longstanding mutual trust and is what grants language its authority. A theory of the origins of language must therefore explain why humans could begin trusting cheap signals in ways that other animals apparently cannot see signalling theory.

If language evolved initially for communication between mothers and their own biological offspring, extending later to include adult relatives as well, the interests of speakers and listeners would have tended to coincide.

Fitch argues that shared genetic interests would have led to sufficient trust and cooperation for intrinsically unreliable signals—words—to become accepted as trustworthy and so begin evolving for the first time.

Critics of this theory point out that kin selection is not unique to humans. Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that early humans restricted linguistic communication to genetic kin: For language to prevail across an entire community, however, the necessary reciprocity would have needed to be enforced universally instead of being left to individual choice.

On the contrary, they seem to want to advertise to the world their access to socially relevant information, broadcasting that information without expectation of reciprocity to anyone who will listen.

This is because language is not a separate adaptation but an internal aspect of something much wider—namely, human symbolic culture as a whole.

Can we imagine a historian attempting to explain the emergence of credit cards independently of the wider system of which they are a part?This past semester at MIT I took a really wonderful class called “Feminist Political Thought” which had a very open ended essay assignment.

I wrote a history of the word “Bitch,” and several of my classmates requested to read the whole paper so I thought I’d post it here. English Language Arts Standards Download the standards Print this page The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the standards”) represent the next generation of K–12 standards designed to prepare all students for success in college, career, and life by the time they graduate from high school.

Language Forums.

The origin of language english language essay

The WordReference language forum is the largest repository of knowledge and advice about the English language, as well as a number of other languages.

If you have a question about language usage, first search the hundreds of thousands of previous questions. If you still are unsure, then you can ask the question yourself. Essays, Tables and Lists Language Families Languages are grouped together into families. Languages belonging to the same family share common ancestors.

This essay looks at some of the more common and important language families. This past semester at MIT I took a really wonderful class called “Feminist Political Thought” which had a very open ended essay assignment. I wrote a history of the word “Bitch,” and several of my classmates requested to read the whole paper so I thought I’d post it here.

As English is the primary language of instruction and communication at the University of Toronto, applicants must demonstrate an adequate level of proficiency in English, regardless of their citizenship status or country of origin.

KryssTal : Language Page