What is so mysteriously indecipherable about language evolution

IS IT ONLY LANGUAGE EVOLUTION THAT HAS NOT BEEN EXPLAINED? 
Reading the abundant literature treating the evolution of language with a preliminary consent of failure to build up a theory that would come close to the stream of real events that made language live, is frustrating.
Yet, is this frustration justified?
Do we already have a well developed theories of other abilities of human beings?
Of walking, for instance? of the many ways of using our hands? of sexual courting? Can anyone answer the question of the evolution of walking? be sure, it takes much much more than telling us that in some ancient time some animal developed legs in order to be able to walk. Such answers, surely much richer in details, usually describing the structures of legs and pelvics (see for example this paper evolution of human walking). What we get in such descriptions equals, when talking of speech, to description of the changes of the organs of the vocal tract,
What we actually look for is the development of the systems of acts that produce the complexes that we call "walking", "speech and language".
Now it is highly important to realize that an animal develops and evolves in accordance with its interaction with its environment, which is not only surrounding nature, but also the in-group and social relations. modern evolution theories hold that changes goes from outside into the genetic structure, especially through developmental periods of the young (in order to get some acquaintance with the new theories, one can start with the following paper evolution is not mainly a matter of genes).The consequence of this is that behaviors compel changes of the body structure. And therefore, the task of explaining evolution goes from the behaviour to the organs, contrary to what one usually gets about evolution theories.
Sometimes the point made here is clear: Describing how fish evolved to land walker, starting with behaviour has no alternative.
This takes us back to the two titles of this post. We do not know why some ancient chimpanzee like ape started to walk on two legs. This is a no less a mystery than the development of language.
And what can we tell about the evolution of the eye, and more specifically, about distinguishing color, or put differently, what kind of evolution made electromagnetic waves into colors? Can we suggest even a slight idea in order to solve this riddle? Be sure, what you have are only some clues to the evolution of the physical structure of the eye, and nothing whatsoever about vision itself and color vision.
We could go on with such unanswered questions to conclude that language should not be singled out as if it were more mysterious than all other aspects of living creatures.
In my book "Sounds from the Garden of Eden",  "How vocal expression evolved to language", shown below (get it through Amazon), I took an absolutely different attitude to language evolution, comparing to what you can find elsewhere.
Totally denying the Chomskyian centrality of syntax, and emphasizing the necessary connection between the structure of the head, face, vocal tract organs and speech performance, my book draws the principle lines of the evolution of language.
                                 
                                   

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Has Chomsky advanced linguistics?

ON THE HISTORY OF A LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGE FAMILIES