Re: Human Language. (long post)

T&B Schmal (
Sat, 04 Jan 1997 22:39:26 +0000

In article <>, (Susan S.
Chin) wrote:

> One theory that I've heard related to this is the relationship between
> the increased technological complexity seen in the archaeological lithic
> record. Perhaps merely demonstrating how a particular tool is created...
> vocalized language facilitated this learning process. There must be a
> reference in the literature for this somewhere...

Maybe your reference is Richard Leakey's "People of the Lake" which has
som really interesting ideas along these lines. (Briefly) he says the
abstract thinking, the visualization and the planning that are necessary
for modern speech are identical to those necessary for making complex
tools from knapping flint for exapmple. Leaky sets side-by-side the
thinking needed to make a tool ("break a rock in half") with its
equivalent quality of needed thought and word formation ("ugh").

As the toolkits improved the quality of the words necessary to think
improved. I'd say the increase was exponential. I think he concludes or
speculates (but maybe this is just me talking) that around 50 kya we made
the big jump in language to super-abstraction (painting, superstition,
spears, culture) and maybe that was the beginning of true modern man.
Better read it to be sure, though.

Tom Schmal
Whatever we see or feel or do is the effect
of whatever we have seen or felt or done.