22 minutes | Jan 20, 2021

Language I - The Questions

Is there a quality more uniquely human than language? The domain of language is vast and complex and involves many disciplines. In this series we will explore many of the big questions about language and cover a range of topics from evolution, biology, linguistics, anthropology, psychology and philosophy. On our search for answers we’ll gain a deeper understanding of what language is, how it emerged in humans, and how it functions in individuals and society.

In this first episode of the series, I introduce the topic of language, raise several of the big questions and attempt to understand what language is. We also take our first tentative steps toward answering the biggest question of all: how did language emerge in homo sapiens?

Show notes and further reading

The Here and Now Podcast Language Series
Language – Collins Online Dictionary
Genesis Chapter 11, verses 1 - 9
Talking the Talk: Language Psychology and Science – Trevor Harley (2017)
Daniel Everett
How Language Began – Daniel Everett (2017)
A Basic Course in Anthropological Linguistics – Marcel Danesi (2004)
Max Müller
On the origin of species – Charles Darwin (1859)
Psamtik I and the babies talk of bread
King James IV and the island experiment – BBC History

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