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How did language begin?The question, then, is how the properties of human language got their start. Obviously, it couldn’t have been a bunch of cavemen sitting around and deciding to make up a language, since in order to do so, they would have had to have a language to start with! Intuitively, one might speculate that hominids (human ancestors) started by grunting or hooting or crying out, and “gradually” this “somehow” developed into the sort of language we have today. (Such speculations were so rampant 150 years ago that in 1866 the French Academy banned papers on the origins of language!) The problem is in the “gradually”' and the “somehow”. Chimps grunt and hoot and cry out, too. What happened to humans in the 6 million years or so since the hominid and chimpanzee lines diverged, and when and how did hominid communication begin to have the properties of modern language?[1]

I started writing this book with only one single purpose – answer to the question what arelanguage and art?How did language and art begin?

These concepts have issued in thousands of books, hundreds of definitions, but till today there is no accepted general definition of any of these concepts.

In order to define the above-mentioned concepts, there was only one way – to trace their origin; to understand how and why the necessity for each one of them, separately, arose. Why has art become a necessity for humanity? Why have people been forced to speak?

At the beginning I was thinking with my brain, the brain of an ordinary homo sapiens, about what Iwould do if I was living in the conditions of prehistoric people. Why would I speak, why would I draw, why would I cook? And… all this led me to the same dead ends that I was reading about in the books.

Then I understood that there was a mistake. I realized that my way of thinking was the wrong way round.

None of the primitive people decided to talk, because nobody knew what a language was. None of the primitive people decided to cook, to draw, to get dressed, to become religious, because nobody knew what art, clothes or religion were.None of the primitive people decided to tame animals, because nobody knew what a tame animal was.

And then? Then how has man created these civilizational conditions?

The answer is very simple: unconsciously! (In the book I mention cases where unconscious creation has been proposed by figures such as Ch. Darwin and L. Morgan.) The primitive man firstly created “something” and then a next generation came that would find the ready “something” and would name it. Let us see for instance the language.[2] Man started talking. The formation of language continued through hundreds of generations. In the end, one generation was born with a ready-made language. This generation named “that thing,” they called it “language” and started exploring it. They found in the existing-already language, grammar and syntax, the tenses and cases. And all this happened at the end of language origin. There was no prehistoric man who decided to origin that language with grammar, syntax, tenses, cases etc.

Another and also very significant mistake: all this was created not by Homo sapiens, but by people with 500–600–700–800cm3 brains. In other words, it was created by… animals. Searching in the bibliography, which I provide in the book, I found many resemblances between men and animals. Then I realized that it would be a mistake to think about what I, the ordinary Homo sapiens, would do in that era. I had to think with half or one-third of my brain! In other words, I had to understand, without thinking, how human(and animals?) origined civilizational conditions and how homo got there.



[1]Jackendoff, R. (2006). How did language begin?Linguistic Society of America.p. 3.

[2]Pinker, St. (1995).The Language Instinct: The New Science of Language and Mind. London: Penguin. p. 334:“At some point in historylanguage was invented and refined,and we have been learning it ever since.”

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