Re: Human language (long)

John A. Halloran (
10 Jan 1997 11:35:02 -0700

In article <> (John A. Halloran) writes:

>These then are the only evolutionary brain changes that I would attribute
>directly to selection as a result of spoken language.

I should have said 'measurable' or 'paleontologically detectable'. The
hard-wired hearing preference that babies nowadays display for the kind of
discrete phonemes that are used in language, cf. Pinker's book, do reflect the
selective effects of language, but these changes which facilitate listening
comprehension could have occurred over the same 300-plus generations during
which humans have become more brachycephalic.


John Halloran