2
$\begingroup$

I suspect both language-use and upright-posture have anatomical consequences. So does the fossil record show which came first?

NOTE: To the folks who marked this question "homework": This is certainly not an actual homework question. I have been an accomplished biologist for over 30 years and I am genuinely interested in the evidence for the timing of these critical human attributes. If you feel that the answer is so trivially obvious, that I should have been able to find out with only modest research, could you please leave a comment explaining, as if to a child, exactly how it is so obvious?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Question, although short, is in my opinion valid. $\endgroup$ – Raoul Jan 23 '15 at 23:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Christopher Bruns - "homework" is defined here as a question with no research effort made to find an answer. If you hover on the downvote button, a message comes up: This question does not show any research effort. The homework close reason is explained: unless you have shown your attempt at an answer. That's all we're asking. As to defending it by claiming your accomplishments, this is the internet, remember. I can claim to be a Nobel Prize winner. If I post a question that is one sentence, without any explanation or support, it's still a poorly researched question. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Jan 24 '15 at 14:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Christopher Bruns- I suggest you modify your question by editing in some useful information, and nominate it for reopening, or post a reopen request in meta $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Jan 24 '15 at 14:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you @anongoodnurse for your thoughtful and helpful comments. I think I will allow this question to fall into closed status and die, then later reask it, next time demonstrating more evidence of research. $\endgroup$ – Christopher Bruns Jan 24 '15 at 17:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Homework question doesn't mean the question is homework. They key statement to that closed reason is unless you have shown your attempt at an answer. I think the close reason shouldn't say homework at all but just say you need to show work so it dosnt cause people to debate that a problem isn't actually homework. $\endgroup$ – dustin Jan 24 '15 at 17:16
3
$\begingroup$

This article by Philip Lieberman On the subcortical bases of the evolution of language, page 22, he asserts the neurons associated with language may have developed based on the demands of bipedal posture. While there's no concrete data to support when we see the first languages, here we see evidence of arches (and presumably bipedal posture) in Australopithecus afarensis. So there are still some dots that need connecting.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ OK, so if that one A. afarensis toe bone is convincing, then bipedalism is at least 2.5 million years old. Aren't there also skeletal changes in the skull and neck to allow our modified larynx position, so we could bracket the timing of spoken language development too? $\endgroup$ – Christopher Bruns Jan 24 '15 at 13:47

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.