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John Simkin

Birth of Language

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Dean Falk, an anthropologist at Florida State University, has come up with an interesting theory on the birth of language. Apparently, although modern humans emerged 200,000 years ago, language only dates back to 100,000 years ago. Falk argues that it emerged out of bipedalism. Falk states: “We stood up; we lost hair. It was then that babies could no longer hang on to their mothers. Mothers had to hang on to their babies.” Falk goes on to argue that foroging mothers would have had to put their babies down to search for food. They may have made noises to reassure them.

It was this development of language that increased the size of the human brain. This in turn meant early humans began giving birth before their babies’ heads became too big to pass through the birth canal. This shorter gestational period meant humans gave birth to babies that were undeveloped physically.

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