Reblogged from Nicholas C. Rossis :
Once again, Quora has a great answer on linguistics — and the emergence of language in particular.
As Thomas Wier points out, the faculty of language is far, far older than our own species.
Early Communication Systems
No one knows precisely when language began. As far back as we can tell, primates had communication systems more complex than almost any other in the animal kingdom. Vervet monkeys, for example, have different calls for different kinds of predators: leopards, eagles, and snakes. The form of these calls is arbitrary and resembles words, in that no property of the call itself resembles a leopard or a snake. But they are also genetically wired into the monkey’s behavior — the monkeys don’t have to learn the calls. Our remote hominid ancestors must have had speech systems at least this sophisticated.
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