> From: enlil@...
> To: Nostratic-L@yahoogroups.com
> Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2004 1:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [Nostratic-L] Proto-World

> So what I've concluded is that language was a long evolutionary
shift from
> body language (like animals in the wild) to gestural communication
> us monkeys stood upright) and then finally vocal communication
(once our
> vocals chords were up to the challenge).

> The way this would work is that there would be no particular
> area from which the first vocal languages would develop, but
rather it
> would be an imperceptible, painfully slow change of focus over
> of years from languages where gesture is the focus and speech
> it, to languages where speech is the focus and gesture adds to it.
> so, this evolution isn't even that straight-forward considering
> many hunters still traditionally use sign language because in this
> situation it is more advantageous than speech. Any sound would
> spook the animals you're chasing after and make your job tougher.

There are geographical constraints. Homo only spread from Africa
within the last 2 million years, and 'modern man' (i.e. not
Neanderthal, so arguably H. s. sapiens) is only about 125,000 years
old, and successfully spread beyong Africa only 60,000 years ago.
There's evidence that early H. erectus (Nariokotome boy, c. 1.6
million years ago) (a.k.a. H. Ergaster) had poor breathing control
comparing with modern man - ape-like rather than man-like.