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paoloferrari
08-05-2017, 08:57 AM
Language evolution to revolution: from a slowly developing finite
communication system with many words to infinite modern language

http://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2017/07/20/166520.full.pdf

"Abstract
There is overwhelming archeological and genetic evidence that modern speech apparatus was
acquired by hominins by 600,000 years ago. There is also widespread agreement that modern syntactic
language arose with behavioral modernity around 100,000 years ago.
We attempted to answer two crucial questions: (1) how different was the communication system of hominins before acquisition of modern language and (2) what triggered the acquisition of modern language 100,000 years ago. We
conclude that the communication system of hominins prior to 100,000 years ago was finite and not-
recursive. It may have had thousands of words but was lacking flexible syntax, spatial prepositions, verb
tenses, and other features that enable modern human language
to communicate an infinite number of ideas. We argue that a synergistic confluence of a genetic mutation that dramatically slowed down the prefrontal cortex (PFC) development in monozygotic twins and their spontaneous invention of spatial prepositions 100,000 years ago resulted in acquisition of PFC-driven constructive imagination (
mental synthesis) and converted the finite communication system of their ancestors into infinite modern
language."