Sources of Language

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Offline Antara11

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Sources of Language
« on: November 26, 2013, 05:43:34 PM »
We speak different languages. Linguists have studies about some sources of language, let us know about these.

The divine source:
      The Bible is the first example of the activities to discover the origin of human language. According to it, Adam received the ability to speak from God and "whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof". In most major religions there seems to be the Almighty who blesses mankind with means of communication. This so-called 'divine source' theory was tested many times in the ways which presently might seem as extremely inhumane. In ancient times it was thought that if new newborn babies were brought up by mutes they would sooner or later start speaking the original language of God. In the 16th century Scottish king James IV carried out such an experiment and the children were said to have spoken in Hebrew. For this reason Hebrew was considered the language of God. None of the subsequent similar experiments revealed that children living without any contact with actual speech can acquire a language.


Antara Basak
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Sources of Language
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 05:43:59 PM »
Natural sounds:
   Apart from the divine source theories, there have been a number of perhaps more scientific, yet still unlikely proposals. There are several hypotheses which attempted to explain the emergence of speech on the basis of sound imitation, or unintentional sound production. Although they seem more convincing, they fail to answer many questions and therefore are mere assumptions.
Antara Basak
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Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Sources of Language
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 05:44:21 PM »
Bow-wow theory proposes that people imitated sounds they heard around them, thus creating first onomatopoeic words from which the rest of the language evolved. This theory seems to be supported by the fact that the majority of modern languages have onomatopoeic expressions, it does not, however, explain how words for inanimate objects such as hills and rivers came to exist.
Antara Basak
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Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Sources of Language
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 05:44:42 PM »
Yo-heave-ho theory on the other hand proposes that human language is a result of the first human sounds made by people taking part in some physical effort. At the dawn of civilization when people worked in groups the grunts and groans they made while performing difficult manual tasks enabled them to develop a way of communicating which with time evolved into more elaborate form of conveying meaning. This idea emphasizes a very important notion, namely social context crucial for the development and the use of language.
Antara Basak
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of English

Offline Antara11

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Re: Sources of Language
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2013, 05:45:12 PM »
The oral-gesture source:
   
   This theory goes further back in time when people used physical gestures to communicate their ideas. It is thought that over time they started to use not only their hands, but also movement of the mouth, lips and tongue which subsequently developed into speech as we know it.
Antara Basak
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Re: Sources of Language
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 05:45:47 PM »
All of these theories do not explicitly explain how language originated, but linguists and anthropologists could agree on when and why that was possible. It is now clear that our ancestors were only able to produce few sounds, as it could be examined from their remains dating back to about 60,000 BC. The reconstructed skeleton dating about 35,000 years resembles the modern humans being, which indicates the approximate time of when the oral communication begun.
Antara Basak
Senior Lecturer
Dept. of English