Human Language: Nature or Nurture??
Why are humans the only species capable of language? I've researched a lot into this and it wasn't too hard to see this is a much debated topic. Some say it's down to anatomy and the position of the larynx in the throat, some say it's because our brains or even our genes hold something which enable us to speak. Others say, "Animals CAN talk...we just can't understand them" or that, "We only speak because our parents teach us to". So what do you think?
Intra species communication is a function of nature as its foundation is the capability to form sounds at various levels and pitches,and assign meaning. Nurture comes in to play with Language, which some studies have shown actually begin in the womb. What makes humans special I think, is our regional variances within the species,the size of our vocabularies, and our ability to self learn (within the species not necessarily as individuals) the multiple variations.
I think all animals have language, but only humans are capable of producing speech. Other animals demonstrate the ability to gesture or make sounds that have meaning to other members of the species. I believe that the anatomy (larynx positioning) and genes (FOXP2 gene discovery, for instance) of humans enable them to produce speech. Environment is very important because children that have been neglected never learn language if they aren't exposed to it during the critical period. I have a degree in communication disorders and have taken several linguistics courses so this is a very interesting topic for me.
A controversy arises when we try to examine the extent of genetic influence on human behaviour. How many of our ability or issues are innate and how many do we acquire through interpersonal interaction and our environment? This debate has been going... read more
One thing that sets humans apart from all other animals is our ability to gain language. Language is such a complex topic, and often debated, especially whether it has come from nature or nurture. read more
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