2 Open Questions About the Past That Still Puzzle Linguists
Linguist Noam Chomsky presents two very basic questions about language that are still open for debate.
“Well, as in most sciences, especially the human sciences, almost every major question is open,” says noted linguist Noam Chomsky. He says that for all we think we know about human development of language, for example, there are still a couple of very basic questions we can’t definitively answer.
Chomsky says in the video that human speech began 100,000 or 200,000 years ago, and even that isn’t so clear. A recent study in PLAS ONE pushes the date way back, to 1.75 million years, and also offers a possible reason for its sudden emergence: The same physical development that led to using tools may be what enabled speech. The study by Natalie Thaïs Uomini and Georg Friedrich Meyer suggests that around the same time hominids began using tools, they found their (speaking) voice. fTCD brain imaging revealed that "common cerebral blood flow lateralization signatures" occurred in subjects’ brains during two previously unlinked activities: wielding an axe, and performing linguistic exercises.
As far as the differences between languages, minor as Chomsky finds them, they may simply be the result of populations developing their own local variants in isolation from other groups developing their own combinations of the same hominid, and later human, sounds.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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