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How has the ability to create a language improved our minds?

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Language can be defined as the way to express an idea with a specific and common group of words in a community but actually, a language is the complex system of communication and description to give us the opportunity to turn the fragile ideas into the solid words.

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Homo Sapiens(less than 100.000 years) could make a sentence with words in their basic language by using each of them in the right combination that depends on what community they were in but also, they used the sentences to tell a milestone of their lives or a very rare idea which can change the world(such as hunting with a pointed rod) in the early prehistory of man, but it was a long way to improve this skills. A word only described one object or one event in the origin of language, there was a word for apple and a word for snowing, however, they had started to comprehend the basis of the events happening in nature so they divided and categorized the events and the objects in regard to their assumptions of nature.

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When our ancestors divided and categorized their knowledge of nature into the parts of the group of words, they found a way to combine these parts and derived a new meaning from them, despite the fact that they did not know what the meaning is yet and their expressions were shaped by the group of words as the embodiment of thoughts. Thinking and speaking were the same processes for the prehistoric man when they approach their thoughts as the sum of the parts(words). Speaking skills which gives us the ability to communicate changed the pattern of thinking by deriving thoughts from the variation of the words.

Our ancestors’ brains had adapted to the new pattern of thinking which improved their minds by creating new neural pathways in their brains and nervous systems(Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area). When they spoke about the objects or the events they did not understand properly, they forced their brains to create a new group of words(ideas) from the old ones in a new variation. Each of the new variations of words was the new neural pathways in their brains and nervous systems so that human language has a unique status among all other languages used by non-human animals, such as elephants and dolphins. All non-human animals have some techniques to express their feelings, for instance, dolphins change the range of the frequencies of the sound, which they produce to transmit a message, by using a unique organ called nasal air sacks. However, they express only their instincts, such as anger and fear, and they do not have words, which are semantic units to convey meaning, as humans have.

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As a result of having the limitations caused by not using words as a template of thoughts, non-human animals can not describe imaginary objects as humans do, furthermore, they can not make a prediction about whether a decision is correct or not by using the patterns occurred from their experiences. Describing the imaginary objects distinguishes human brain from all other structures by giving human brain the ability to change, it is called brain plasticity. Any of animals except humans cannot make a simulation of future or recreate the events happened in the past as a fragment in their minds by using a variation of words.

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In terms of the neural architecture of language and speech, the ability to speak has improved our brains in various ways. Unravelling the universe's mysteries by solving equations in physics or building a simulated world based on a fictional world is not on the verge of our minds. As Ludwig Wittgenstein said, ❝The limits of my language are the limits of my world.❞






1 ) The Symbolic Species: The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain