Dawn: The Origins of Language and the Modern Human Mind

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Title: Dawn
Subtitle: The Origins of Language and the Modern Human Mind
Publication Year: 2016
Publisher: Transaction Publishers

Book URL: http://www.transactionpub.com/title/Dawn-978-1-4128-6265-3.html?srchprod=1

Author: Rik Smits

Electronic: ISBN:  9781412862103 Pages: 230 Price: U.S. $ — Comment: EBooks are available from eBook vendors worldwide; price varies by vendor
Hardback: ISBN:  9781412862653 Pages: 230 Price: U.S. $ 29.95
Paperback: ISBN:  9781412862578 Pages: 230 Price: U.S. $ 79.95


In this work, originally published in Dutch, Rik Smits theorizes that language
could not have developed originally as a system of communication. It is,
instead, the result of combining separate abilities, each of which developed
independently to aid the survival of early humans. Lacking strength and speed,
man relies on wisdom for survival. Smits theorizes that human skills in
calculation and estimation continued to develop until they were sufficient to
accommodate a system as complex as grammar.

Only after our linguistic ability emerged could humans think logically and
share our reasoning with others, at which point almost everything we now call
culture began to flourish. Smits concludes that language cannot have long
predated the invention of agriculture in the Middle East, some 14,000 years
ago. The huge advance in civilization represented by language made abstract
powers of reasoning indispensable for the first time, along with highly
developed concepts of identity, past, present, and future, all of which rely
upon language.

This explanation of the origins of language throws new light on cave paintings
by Cro-Magnon man, whose masterpieces date from about 40,000 to 15,000 years
ago. Anatomically Cro-Magnons were modern humans, but they had no language in
the modern sense. Their absence of language gave them no true sense of
individual identity.

One Comment (+add yours?)

    Jun 04, 2016 @ 08:21:43

    Every claim here is false.

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