Communotion and the Evolution of Human Language

Zhongxin Dai, Jun Liu

Abstract


The past two decades has witnessed the controversy revolving around the issue of human language evolution, leading to the emergence of two schools of thought: the biolinguistic school and the sociocultural school. The former maintains that the human faculty of language is characterized by the innate recursion which stems from the neurobiological foundation of language. The latter argues that it is the social communication that accounts for the evolution of human language. This article attempts to scrutinize the beginning point of language evolution and production (i.e. the “communicative notion”, blended as “communotion”) within social communication of humans, and explore therein human language faculty of recursion with respect to the infinite hierarchical structures of human language. Human language as a tool serving human expression and communication has evolved for what is to be expressed and communicated, and developed from and with the communotion. The crucial transition between the non-verbal communotion and verbal expression has long been ignored in linguistics. This article argues that human language has evolved for, from and with the communotion of humans. The communotion is what is targeted to get expressed and communicated. It is kindled in the mind of the speaker at the outset of social communication, impelling him to communicate with others. As the target to be expressed, the well-structured elements of the communotion eventually wed with vocal sounds and give birth to the “verbal notion” --- a binary code for human language. Human language develops with the development of the communotion in the course of serving the purpose of expressing it with the vocal sounds. The human faculty of language with respect to the innate and creative recursion of the infinite hierarchical structures is in reality the faculty of the verbal manifestation of the hierarchically structured elements of the communotion.


Keywords


communotion; communication; language evolution; verbal notion

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/journal.v8i9.1737

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