Theories of the Origin of Language

The origin of language probably didn’t come from one place at one exact time. It probably came from different places, different people in different places. I think that for many years, man had no language, but rather ways of communication. Just because man didn’t speak, doesn’t mean that they didn’t communicate. Much the way that the animals of today can communicate without a language.

In fact, animals play a large part in how I feel language originated. I think that man watched animals and followed them not only because of eating purposes, but to see how they behaved. When man followed these animals they began acting like them. They made noises, which they made and eventually started calling them by the noise they made. This theory, not discussed in class, called anemontepia was probably the very beginnings of language. For an example, where do you think we get the name bee? It probably came from the sound that a bee makes in flight. Other words we get probably came from this theory. Words such as moo, bark, chirp, meow, and so on come from this “monkey see, monkey do” theory. The range of animals does not only bind this theory of how language came to be. It also explains many things in our language. Words such as chop, thud, clap, snap, bang, pop, hit, cry, moan, sneeze, etc… all probably have arisen this way.

For all of the other words and phrases in our language, I believe that man just simply made them up. There might have been some pre-educated explanation behind them but I think it would be minimal. For example, did you ever wonder where we got some of the words in our language… such as tree, rock or sky? What if they were backwards and our ancient forefathers called trees rocks? Would we ever know the difference now? I think not.

We get a lot of our language from ancient times and we’ve altered the sounds of the words into what they are now. For example, Hladie, was the name of the person who kneaded the bread. After many years of using this name, it was eventually altered into present day “lady”. On the same page, Hlaford, was the one who brought the bread. Over time, this name became lord.

Word Count: 389

Related Essays on Language