Origin Of Language
Public debate about language in the English-speaking world during the nineteenth century turned on the issue of how language began. The notion that language was a divine gift to humanity, not shared by lower creatures, was supported by the Biblical accounts of Adam naming the animals and of the Tower of Babel. It was still accepted by leading religious authorities. But this notion was seriously brought into question by the publication of Darwin's theory of evolution. Those who rejected Darwinism ridiculed all attempts to conjure up language out of primitive calls, grunts, and ejaculations. No animals, it was pointed out, had yet achieved communication remotely resembling the use of words. On the other side were those who held that it was possible to account for the birth of language rationally as a function of the development of human communicational needs in society.
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INTRODUCTORY LECTURE extracts
THE THEORETICAL STAGE AND THE ORIGIN
THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE
ON THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE
LECTURES ON MR DARWINS PHILOSOPHY
PROFESSOR WHITNEY ON THE ORIGIN
NATURE AND ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE
THE SIMIAN TONGUE
accept according admit animals answer appears argument articulate assert become beginning believe birds brutes called cause common conception connection cries Darwin derived discover distinct doubt effect English evidence existence experience explain express fact faculty feel follow give given Greek hand human idea imagine imitation important impressions individual instance instinct intellect interest interjections invented Kant kind knowledge less living look material matter means mind monkey nature never object observed once opinion organs origin of language particular pass philosophers positive possess possible present problem produced Professor proved question race reason received regard remain represented result roots Sanskrit scientific seems sensations sense side signs simply soul sound speak speech supposed theory things thought true truth understand utter whole words
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