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All that stands out: Would a vocal evolution help language evolve?


The prevalence of vocal chords does not necessarily mean that they affect the sound the person who owns them produces. So Dr. Nishimura’s team took the larynx of three dead chimpanzees and attached them to simulated lungs; they did the same thing with six rhesus macaques that had been euthanized for other approved experiments. In all simulations, the vocal cords and vocal cords vibrated simultaneously. Mathematical models of the larynx of other primates give similar results.

In their paper, the researchers propose that the absence of vocal lips – and their complex vibrations – in humans was a key factor in the development of language in our species. . Vibrating in great isolation, our vocal cords allow for subtle changes in flexion and signature to our voices. We reason and persuade, plead and suggest, all in a controlled manner.

“This study has shown that evolutionary changes in the larynx are necessary for the development of spoken language,” said Dr.

Dr Rendall added: “It suggests, or reinforces, that there is a radically different shift in tactics from human communication to non-primate communication. Human language isn’t aimed at emotional responses, but you’re trying to change their minds – you’re hitting cognitive and inference systems.”

Dr Rendall said primates are usually soft-spoken and delicate, while humans often communicate through screams and screams. He recommends a “sane skepticism” in extrapolating from the anatomy of the origins of complex speech and language. “I think they’ve just highlighted the fact that this loss of membrane in humans is probably crucial for our ability to generate stable laryngeal fold vibrations that underlie sound production,” he said. speech.

Harold Gouzoules, a psychologist at Emory University, who wrote a attached comment with the recent newspaper, agreed. “Establishing causality here is basically impossible,” he said. “It may be a necessary step in the development of the language, but whether it is entirely important remains to be seen.”

Dr Gouzoules says the study is most notable for its comparative analysis of primates and its ability to derive insights about its evolution, at one level, from simple, often hidden anatomy. in clear vision. “Language is clearly not just the sum of its parts,” he said. “It is unlikely that we will have a completely satisfactory explanation.”



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