chapter  1
23 Pages

Thehumancapacity for language

In William Golding’s novel, The Inheritors (1955), Lok and his companions are ancient hominidswho die out. They are survived by others whose farmore complex language capacity helps them to inherit the world. It is a language capacity which, in its sophistication, resembles our own linguistic power. In consequence, the novel gives the reader insight into the language ability that, in a very real sense, makes us human and has allowed us to survive. Conversely, discussionof our linguistic capacitymay throw light on the novel.