INVENTION OF ARTS AND LANGUAGE

Probably, the surest characteristic of humans is their ability to speak. Language is unique to humans. Other animals can emit a limited range of sounds. For example a dog barks differently to register its happiness or anger. Other dogs too, understand these sounds. Same is true of all other animals. However, the range of voices produced by them is very limited. In the case of humans the range of meaningful sounds produced by them verges on infinity. Think of the large dictionaries in all the languages of the world. Each word represents a distinct meaningful sound. That is why language is considered unique to humans.

The beginnings of languages are hidden in the mists of the past. Human beings were anatomically ready to speak more than 150,000 years ago. However, unequivocal evidence for language does not appear for the next 100,000 years. For example we know that the modern humans who are found in Europe about 40,000 years ago had a language. This is proved by many related evidences. Anatomically, the arrangement of their oral and nasal cavities, their longer pharynx i.e. the section of throat just above the vocal cords and the flexibility of their tongues would have enabled them to shape and project sounds over a wide range.

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