Tree of Language

Which came first, word OR verse?
Socio-cultural memes OR verbal language?

Comment by Strega on January 6, 2013 at 1:07pm

That is an incredible diagram.  I shall be 'stealing' that!  Thank you for posting it.

Comment by Melvinotis on January 6, 2013 at 1:34pm

Nice! I don't know if I can ever use this information, but I feel smarter just looking at it. Do you think the Italic language was only spoken while leaning?

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 6, 2013 at 2:03pm

I would almost say with certainty that drawn images preceded language. The first thing two people who don't speak the same language do, when trying to communicate, is create an image of what they are trying to convey, and hope it's one the two share in common.

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 6, 2013 at 2:04pm

But without words, there could be no verse.

Comment by प्रमोद शाही on January 6, 2013 at 2:43pm

Here's a verse from Tarzan's language.“Ooo-ah-ooo-a-ooo-o-a-o-a-oh!” without any words.. :)
If you'll break the words of different languages under PIE to see their phonetic relations,
Here's something I know..
(Eng: MOther, Hindi: Maa/माँ, Nepali: aaMa/ आमा __
Eng: I/Me, Hindi: Mae/मे , Nepali: Ma/म )

Comment by प्रमोद शाही on January 6, 2013 at 2:59pm

@archaeo.. "drawn images preceded language.
That's true for the languages as we know today but in the evolutionary timeline of Homo-sapiens... Which came 1st, Vocal cords  OR  the hands with fingers to draw those beautiful cave arts :-?

Comment by archaeopteryx on January 6, 2013 at 3:20pm

Hands, hands down. Those evolved from the ancestor of all apes, long before humans had vocal chords.

As for your verse from "Tarzan's language," even if it were from Tarzan's language, which it isn't (you've been watching too many Weismuller movies), it isn't verse. If however you DO want something from Tarzan's language, that I suppose one could call "verse" if one liked, it would go something like this: 

Tarmangani sord whuf
Gomangani sord whuf
Mangani tan sord whuf

Translated from the language of the great apes, it means in English: "White men smell bad, Black men smell bad, Apes do not smell bad." - look it up. I realize it's a bit racist, but great apes aren't all that politically correct.


Comment by SteveInCO on January 6, 2013 at 6:36pm
Comment by max stirner on January 6, 2013 at 11:33pm

** Jargon and speculation at best.

So what is a meme? How do memes differ from concepts, ideas, notions, hypotheses, theories -- you might take a look at Marvin Harris's book, Cultural Materialsim in which Harris gives 'meme' a black eye. 'Meme' seems to be a dot of pseduo-science foisted on gullible audiences.

There's a lot of speculation about how speech acts arose -- attempts to use modern apes as proxies for ancient humanoids seem to be stretching hard to fill gaps left by extinction.

Not until humans had to become writers only about 5,000 years ago is there any physical evidence of verbal communication. Of course, it seems reasonable to assume that many thousands of years before had been spent talking away. An abstract reality like language exists only in the brains of its users -- words are made of air and vanish without an empirical trace.

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on January 6, 2013 at 11:38pm

To be more accurate, however, English would need to appear on multiple branches.  :D


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