When Did Language Begin?

It is believed that human speech developed between the times of the Neanderthal Man (beginning in 100,000 B.C.) and the Cro-Magnon Man (beginning in 35,000 B.C.).

The actual process of this development is unknown, but most theories claim that language developed either as an imitation of animal sounds, like grunts and barks, or as a way to accompany the body’s gestures and movements.

Neanderthal Man’s throat was too short to produce the sounds recognized as human speech, but by 40,000 B.C., human beings had evolved the throat muscles capable of “voice sounds.”

There are many unusual sounds in languages used today. The Khoi-khoin tribe of South Africa use a language of clicks and clacks made in their throats. In Turkey, there is a village where whistling is used in place of some words.

There are now over 5,000 different languages and dialects spoken in the world, with 845 of these spoken in India alone!

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

5 thoughts on “When Did Language Begin?”

  1. Hey! Let’s not fight about evolution. The quest for finding the origins of men and women is an ongoing process that some dedicate their entire lives to. The only way to convince someone of evolution is to show them the facts. I highly doubt that the anthropologists who are discovering bones and artifacts that clearly show an evolutionary pattern are creating them in their basements and garages in order to fool the creationists. The study of human anatomy also proves that one needs certain equipment in order to produce the proper vocalizations to manipulate language. It feels hopeless when someone puts down evolution when they refuse to study the facts, and by studying the facts I mean take an evolutionary class, particularly one with a lab, in your local college and study the facts hands on. Then! try to put down evolution.

  2. when you’re asleep and you dream, it feels so real… you can feel time going by slower than it actually is… i think life’s that way and that’s all it is, a dream. its seems here in life like a long time, but when we finally wake up, we’ll be awake… to what you may ask? i don’t know yet…

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