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.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
- Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.
A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.
Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.