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The Biology and Origins of Language Part 2. Tonal Language Example Mandarin Tone Use Word Intonation Meaning ba [/] to uproot ba [--] eight ba [\/] to.

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Presentation on theme: "The Biology and Origins of Language Part 2. Tonal Language Example Mandarin Tone Use Word Intonation Meaning ba [/] to uproot ba [--] eight ba [\/] to."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Biology and Origins of Language Part 2

2 Tonal Language Example Mandarin Tone Use Word Intonation Meaning ba [/] to uproot ba [--] eight ba [\/] to hold ba [\] a harrow

3 Genes and Language The newer version of ASPM is traced back to 5800 years ago. The newer version of Microcephalin is traced back to 37,000 years ago. (Dan Dediu and Robert Ladd of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, May 2007)

4 When did language first appear in humans? ?????????

5 Fossil Evidence for Language 1 IndicatorEndocasts FossilAustralopithecus africanus/Taung Baby Age3 MYA Feature (language present) Lunate sulcus farther back than in apes as in modern human brains ProponentRalph Hollowell OponentDean Faulk

6 Australopithicines Australopithecines lived between 5 and 2 million years ago. (Artists rendition based on skeletal and muscular reconstruction.)

7 Location of the Lunate Sulcus Front of the brain Back of the brain

8 Fossil Evidence for Language 2 IndicatorEndocasts FossilHomo habilis/ER 1470 Age2 MYA Feature (language present) Broca's Area sulci may be present ProponentsHollowell and Faulk

9 Fossil Evidence for Language 3 Indicator Total brain size Fossil Homo habilis cranial capacity jumps from 400cc in Australopithecines to 600cc Age 2 MYA Feature (language present) Large increase in neurological connections Proponents Deacon says jump in cranial capacity shows language Opponents Say specialized language organs more important than total size

10 Australopithecus vs. Homo habilis Australopithecus 400 cc Homo habilis 600 cc

11 Fossil Evidence for Language 4 IndicatorThoracic vertebral canal FossilHomo sapiens (H. erectus/WT does not have enlargement) Age100,000 years ago Feature (language present) Enlarged for increased nerve bundles to control breathing adapted to speech ProponentsAnn McLarnon Opponents

12 Homo erectus Homo erectus lived between 1.5 and.5 million years ago. They hunted large game and gathered plant foods. (Artists rendition based on skeletal and muscular reconstruction.)

13 Fossil Evidence for Language 5 IndicatorReconstructed vocal tracts including tongues FossilHomo neanderthalensis Age100,000 years ago Feature (no language) Reconstruction of modern tongue size scaled to fit Neanderthal throat reaches down into the chest cavity ProponentsPhilip Lieberman Opponents

14 Homo neanderthalensis Neanderthals lived between 200,000 and 28,000 years ago in what is now Europe and the Middle East. There is evidence that they may have buried their dead, and that they may have had other religious rituals. (Artists rendition based on skeletal and muscular reconstruction.)

15 Neanderthal Throat/Tongue Ratios

16 Fossil Evidence for Language 6 IndicatorBasicranium shape FossilHomo sapiens sapiens Age100,000 years ago Feature (language present) Basicranial angle more pronounced in H. sapiens than other hominids indicating language ProponentsJeffrey Laitman Opponents

17 Basocranial Shape in Chimps and Hominids

18 Why Language?

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21 Powerpoint Study Guide Brain to Body Ratio Cortical Brain Non-Cortical Brain Brain Lateralization Broca’s Area Wernicke’s Area Geschwind’s Territory Arcuate Fasiculus Aphasia FOXP2 Gene ASPM Gene Microcephalin Gene Tonal Languages Endocast Lunate sulcus Basocranial shape Australopithecus Homo habilis Homo erectus Neandertal Homo sapiens Social bonding Grooming Vocal grooming Body Size r Selection K selection


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