ABSTRACT

Once banned by the Societe Linguistique de Paris and the Philological Society of London as notoriously unscientific, the problem of the origin of language today seems to have become one of the most intensely discussed topics at the intersection of several highly respected scientific disciplines. With the emergence of language as a part of anthropogenesis as well as of individual development, new, specifically human forms of communication, learning, and problem solving have become possible, which are transforming the relatively slow pace of the biological evolution of behavior and its control mechanisms into a rather static background of cumulative cultural changes. Indeed, language has always been regarded as the most distinctive attribute of our species. Its analysis, therefore, is indispensable for any serious study of the biological foundations of human culture.