Evolution of Human Language through Motherese

The theory of evolution has become the most outstanding and widely recognized scholarly-based theory that explains the human origin of almost all countries of the world. For the first time, the theory of evolution was maintained by Charles Darwin in his prominent masterpiece “Origin of Species”. In spite of detractors, critics or considerable debates, the theory of human evolution continues to generate new ideas and discussions according to a human being. Therefore, many scholars considered the link between the development of abstract thinking and human social occupations (hunting, joinery or warfare) that finally evolved into spoken language. The American scientist Dean Falk is an author of informative and well written book “Finding Our Tongues”.

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Furthermore, a professor of anthropology offers the other understanding of the theory that has appeared from a simple observation: parents’ baby talk in conversation with infants. Falk’s work represents the influence of early mother’s talking both as a basis of language and contribution to the growth of baby’s musical and artistic abilities.

The origin of human language is a deeply philosophical and intellectual issue. However, there are a lot of the polarized questions about language development, dependence of protolanguage on the animal calls or gestures, communicational or thoughtful purpose of language, and the relation between the growth of music and language. Falk states that the origin of language lies in the view of the first appearance of protolanguage that has existed 5 to 7 million years ago (Falk, 2009, p. 76). In addition, Darwin in his works compared pre-semantic protolanguage to proto-music. According to Darwin (1981), “musical notes and rhythm” were characteristic to this protolanguage, and they were developed “in producing true musical cadences, that is in singing” (p. 188). Thus, the link between modern language and protolanguage can be explained by the availability of clarity and a certain rhythm. However, the temporary nature of music and language changed them throughout time.

In addition, an American anthropologist examined primary aspects of the emergence of daily language of infants and toddlers that had been missed by many researchers. Usually parents talk to their infants in a specific language known as musical speech. Thus, such way of talking helps their babies while they are learning to speak. Despite arguments of some linguists about not universal type of baby talk, Dean Falk demonstrated its existence in all societies in various appearances according to the world cultures. Nevertheless, misunderstanding of the role of mother’s musical speech can be connected with gender. According to Falk (2009), from the time of Darwin, a man has been viewed as the main mover of progress because of his skills in hard work or warfare. More recently, the interest in language origin and its link between motherese and the growth of baby’s talking abilities emerged. Thus, the scientist treated motherese as an impulse to the evolutionary purpose of the music because of melodiousness of mother’s talking that a person had heard from the birth.

Therefore, blooming music and language developed in a connection over millions of years of evolution. The artistic (musical) and mental (linguistic) sides of the brain slowly became larger and well-grown according to various complex processes. Infant’s development basically depends on observing parents’ deeds and hearing their talking and lullabies. Certain mental processes and abilities, such as synthesis of data or personal development, have evolved as it can be seen from the example of human ancestors who have become linguistically aware and creative beings. Thus, infants have a great importance in the evolutional process of human species. Falk’s and Darwin’s views on models for language evolution differ from each other, but they have common dependence on music. Falk connected evolution of human language with mother’s musical speech while Darwin through comparison of other species explained two features of language: vocal learning and cultural transmission.

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