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Neanderthals May Have Shared Speech And Language With Modern Humans
Posted: 01 August 2013 04:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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Um, “flame” and “camelid” Either one might be scuptable.  Hard to sculpt a verb.  Might could wanna spit out those nits.

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Posted: 02 August 2013 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Might could wanna spit out those nits.

non sequitur (and in any case, I’ve already engorged them ;-)

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Posted: 03 August 2013 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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Yeah yeah but I thought it was obvious I meant the nouns. The photographer irrelevantly refers to the verb form. I got a B in O-level Spanish but can’t remember a thing. Me llamo vb. Mi llama se llama Fuego. Me gusto mucho un gaseosa, with gaseosa defined in our textbook (El Camino Real I think) as a “fizzy fruit-flavoured drink”. My father wold have said fizzy pop.

But what about the photo in the link? I can’t think of any statue that has a flaming llama sprouting from a woman’s head, a freedom-fighter’s torch of truth maybe.

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Posted: 22 August 2013 08:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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Dave Wilton - 31 July 2013 01:37 AM

This is the article that prompted the thread. (I don’t think anyone has linked to the article itself, only news reports of the article. My apologies if someone has.)

It seems to be a thorough and well-reasoned argument. I don’t see any holes or problems with it. It is, however, speculative. It seems to be consistent with what we know, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right.

In then end, the article supports the “we just don’t know how or when language developed” hypothesis.

Thanks, Dave Wilton, I find the article a neat compendium of early Homo language origins and social development reconstructions.

Two months ago a young fellow on leave from an ongoing ichnofossil dig near the Rift Valley in Africa updated our group (paleo society) on their latest findings which were tools. Stone tools weighing from six to ten pounds used to chop up large animals (the natives from a nearby village were paid to cut up an oxen with these crude knives and they did so with glee in quick fastion). In total about two dozen of these heavy knives were found in an area about a hundred square miles beyond the lava flow where these (unknown) people high-stepped though the crusty volcanic dust 600,000 years ago and left several sets of footprints.

Now here is my question: Since the quarrying site is twenty-five miles or so from where the heavy knives were found in the grasslands how could someone order another someone (probably a female) to carry the heavy tools along on a big game hunting trip without a fundamental language?

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Posted: 22 August 2013 10:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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You hand it to them (her, if you prefer), and hit them if they put it down.  You give a tug (on their bearskin, hair, ear, etc.) to indicate that you want them to follow you and hit them if they don’t.  Repeat as necessary.

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Posted: 22 August 2013 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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Milum: I can’t answer that without knowing more about the group. But the assumption implicit in your question is that the group lived near the quarry and periodically visited the grasslands to hunt. Also implicit in the question is the assumption of a division of labor and some kind of hierarchy in the group. It is possible they lived in the grasslands and only visited the quarry when they needed more rocks. Or they could have cached their tools near their usual hunting grounds, obviating the need to carry them any distance. And it’s possible to do all these things without hierarchy or need for language (i.e., communication is not the same thing as language; chimpanzees, for example, organize hunting and raiding parties without language and they also make and use tools, albeit not as sophisticated as the ones you’re talking about).

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Posted: 22 August 2013 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Dr. Techie - 22 August 2013 10:14 AM

You hand it to them (her, if you prefer), and hit them if they put it down.  You give a tug (on their bearskin, hair, ear, etc.) to indicate that you want them to follow you and hit them if they don’t.  Repeat as necessary.

Gee whiz, Dr.Techie, I am suprized your clade has made the jump to modern.
My own tribe had a taboo: Don’t hit a woman then hand her a knife.

[ Edited: 22 August 2013 11:23 AM by milum ]
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Posted: 22 August 2013 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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In my tribe, you don’t need to tell women what to do; they already know and they’re already two steps ahead.

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Posted: 22 August 2013 11:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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happydog - 22 August 2013 11:15 AM

In my tribe, you don’t need to tell women what to do; they already know and they’re already two steps ahead.

Especially when it comes to food with them carring a baby on their hip.
And sex? Women are puppetmasters; men dance.

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Posted: 22 August 2013 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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Dave Wilton - 22 August 2013 10:15 AM

Milum: I can’t answer that without knowing more about the group. But the assumption implicit in your question is that the group lived near the quarry and periodically visited the grasslands to hunt. Also implicit in the question is the assumption of a division of labor and some kind of hierarchy in the group. It is possible they lived in the grasslands and only visited the quarry when they needed more rocks. Or they could have cached their tools near their usual hunting grounds, obviating the need to carry them any distance. And it’s possible to do all these things without hierarchy or need for language (i.e., communication is not the same thing as language; chimpanzees, for example, organize hunting and raiding parties without language and they also make and use tools, albeit not as sophisticated as the ones you’re talking about).

I kinda disagree, Dave. I don’t discriminate between forms of communication except for recognizing that the verbal explosion is up there with sliced bread and the Internet.
I’ll try to conjour up some more exacting infomation about the Rift Valley project and get back.

But remember: If Einstein had not speculated about his ride on a ray of light he would have never squared MC.

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Posted: 22 August 2013 12:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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Since the quarrying site is twenty-five miles or so from where the heavy knives were found in the grasslands how could someone order another someone (probably a female) to carry the heavy tools along on a big game hunting trip without a fundamental language?

You simply gesture and grunt.  For some males, this is what passes as normal.

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Posted: 22 August 2013 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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milum - 22 August 2013 12:32 PM

Not THE milum.

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Posted: 23 August 2013 03:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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I don’t discriminate between forms of communication except for recognizing that the verbal explosion is up there with sliced bread and the Internet.

There is huge difference between communication and language (although there probably is a continuum rather than a discrete difference). Language has grammar and syntax of some form, which allows for a limited vocabulary to express a virtually infinite range of thoughts. It’s able to do things like express futurity, contra-factual conditions, and abstract concepts. Almost every animal communicates in some form, but as far as we know only humans have language. (It’s possible that some other animals do too, but if so we haven’t been able to recognize it as language as of yet.) What Dr. T. jokingly described is communication. While “if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, please go to the quarry, get the rock-knife that Grok has been shaping these past weeks, and take it to the hunting ground, where I’ll meet you when the sun is highest in the sky” is language.

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Posted: 23 August 2013 07:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Dave Wilton - 23 August 2013 03:40 AM

I don’t discriminate between forms of communication except for recognizing that the verbal explosion is up there with sliced bread and the Internet.

There is huge difference between communication and language (although there probably is a continuum rather than a discrete difference). Language has grammar and syntax of some form, which allows for a limited vocabulary to express a virtually infinite range of thoughts. It’s able to do things like express futurity, contra-factual conditions, and abstract concepts. Almost every animal communicates in some form, but as far as we know only humans have language. (It’s possible that some other animals do too, but if so we haven’t been able to recognize it as language as of yet.) What Dr. T. jokingly described is communication. While “if it doesn’t rain tomorrow, please go to the quarry, get the rock-knife that Grok has been shaping these past weeks, and take it to the hunting ground, where I’ll meet you when the sun is highest in the sky” is language.

Maybeso, Dave Wilton, but lingual constructions evolve only to effect the transfer of survival information to the clade.
If you know of any other use of language, or any reason for communication, please let me know.

[ Edited: 23 August 2013 07:41 PM by milum ]
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Posted: 23 August 2013 08:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is on TCM tonight and I opted not to watch it once again after the first ten minutes. Mygod there’s a lot of language in there that miscommunicates and is anti-survival.

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