Singing Monkeys

Language is a wonderful gift only a few species, as far as we know, are capable of. How did we start speaking?

We cannot trace all aspects of our evolutionary line as all species that make the genre Homo have disspeared except one, us. So we do not really know whether they could communicate or how, and of course we do not know if they could actually pass information between individuals by use of a language as we know it today.

But what is language?

We can define a language as a set of sounds organised in a certain rhytm and pace following some grammar rules that can always come up with chunks of information that other individuals who can speak the same language can understand. So forget about the written text, a language was originally designed for speaking.

A great example of how communication by this mean has developed modern languages can be the the howling monkeys. They howl for sexual and territorial reasons, and that is the best hypothesis as that feature would certainly be passed on to the next generation and stay in the species.

What came next?

The use of a communicative device such as a language can have great implications apart from marking territories. It can be used for group hunting or for warning other individuals that a certain peril is on sight.

But the most powerful use of a language is love. Love made the arcaic humans stay together for different reasons as the selfishnes of the protection and food provided by a large group of individuals which is usually seen in nature. Humans would struggle together for love reasons, and I am not only talking about mother love.

Love can make you belong to a group, which improved, by means of linguistic memory, to a society. Soon, members of that society would recognise themselves even when the groups had become much larger by speaking a common language.

Therefore foes would be recognised as those who speak differently. Experience would also bring up manners and everything a unique language can shape in a unique society.

Published by Paco Naranjo


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