Introduction to languages Page 57

their fellow monkeys and chimps of ,say, an approaching tiger. Despite their complexity however, languages in the animal kingdom fail to compete against what might well be the greatest invention of mankind, human language.

The development of language in humans is rather amazing and mysterious. It might have started off as something quite basic. It could have had a role similar to the role it has in the animal kingdom: To warn other humans of nearby threat or the location of prey. And then through an evolutionary process, these basic forms of communication turned into languages very similar to what we refer to as language nowadays.

At some point in history, many different groups must have gathered around cozy, safe and warm fires listening to stories told by their elders, or tales of the heroic battles fought by brave soldiers. Language became a tool; not only to escape danger or hunt, but to socialize and communicate.

Language became what made the realization of imagination possible. It’s not that it brought human imagination into the physical world, but language made it possible for imaginative thoughts, as well as factual information on a much more complicated scale than before, to travel between humans. And doing so brought us humans closer to one another. And this closeness was the key to overcoming all the struggles that we faced.

Ever since language took a form similar to the way it is nowadays,