How and when human languages came into being.

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Language origin of english words by usage

This neat diagram was brought up on english.SE from wikipedia, based on research by research by Finkenstaedt, Thomas and Joseph M. Williams describing where words come from. On the wikipedia page ...
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1answer
73 views

Is Chechen language close to Chinese?

If the both originate from Proto-Sino-Caucasian, then Chechen language should be close to Chinese. Is there any indication for this?
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3answers
385 views

Are some languages more advanced than others?

I have read about animal communication, particularly in mammals and historical evidence in early hominoids. Naturally, I am always amazed how much information species like dolphins and orcas can ...
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4answers
87 views

Origin of Language as Commands? [closed]

I'm not sure if this type of thread is allowed, but I've been pondering the possibility that language began as commands rather than expression of arbitrary thoughts. This is based on the observation ...
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2answers
155 views

Is music a language?

I am a musician. I read an article in the NY Times that suggested both words and musical melodies follow Zipf's Law. I had never really thought about it before, but I started wondering do linguists ...
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3answers
159 views

Has anyone attempted to simulate the creation/development of a language?

I suspect this is a dream confined to sci-fi for at least a few decades, but, I'd like to know if anyone has ever tried to create a computer model for the creation of a language, or at least ...
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1answer
50 views

What is the word “spirituality” derived from? [closed]

What is the word spirtuality or spirit derived from? Is it's origin based on the Christian idea of the Holy Ghost, or perhaps something earlier, like how the Greeks and Romans believed in spirits? ...
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Grice's cooperative principless

Based on Pragmatics Approach, there is one of the principle that involves in communication. It is cooperative principle. This principle consists of 4 maxims. There are maxim of quality (Truthful), ...
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66 views

Considering languages evolved over time, what could be the initial dataset?

If I assume evolution of language took place over time, I am curious as to what can be the initial population of words or syllable or anything. Lets say I am about to write a algorithm to evolve ...
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2answers
141 views

Did language originate and evolve just as organisms did? As in Evolution by Natural Selection?

This is a follow up and linked to the question What evolution framework best describes the change between languages over time? I am interested in knowing how did language originate and how does it ...
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1answer
578 views

In which modern-day country's borders did Arabic start?

We had a discussion going in the Travel Chat about where the Arabic language originated (assuming borders had stayed the same throughout history). Some websites have suggested Egypt, others Yemen, ...
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0answers
39 views

Why is the word for the color orange always the same as the fruit orange? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The relationship between “orange” the colour and “orange” the fruit It's like that in Spanish, French, English, and I'm starting to wonder how many others. It's not ...
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5answers
490 views

How did the first words arise?

As far as I know linguists consider language arbitrary. If so, how does etymology work? We have a word and we trace it back to its origins. Then, we find that it either comes from a different language ...
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Monogenesis vs. Polygenesis

By following the comments to another question about the evolution of Khoisan languages, I learned that there is a heated debate in Evolutionary Linguistics about the origin of language. Some quick ...