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October 17, 2012 / Fantelius

Language, Dance of the Tongue

In the beginning was the word. Then we got sentenced.

The word language comes for the Latin word ”lingua” meaning tongue.

Animals can’t speak. They can communicate with sound signals—and some of these signal systems are quite extensive—but they can’t speak. They cannot describe reality, relate fantasy, wander in the past or fly to the future. They can’t use language as a tool for their thoughts to juggle ideas or employ words to comfort, amuse and deceive.

We don’t think about how quickly and easily we coordinate the actions of many organs and muscles to shape and control bursts of air in the complicated process of pronouncing words, because, like with walking, evolution has hard-wired the wording ability into our brains.

Language has evolved to a physical construction of the brain. It is no less a human attribute than a hairless body, danceable legs, an overhanging nose, crying eyes or a long penis.

(This in the introduction to Chapter Language in the book System Humanity. See the Blogroll!)

 

(Tomorrow: Confessions of a Fuckin Linguist)

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Angeline M / Oct 28 2012 4:56 pm

    Semantics aside, this is a lovely photo.

    • Fantelius / Oct 28 2012 5:23 pm

      Thank you, Angeline. I kinda think the semantics are lovely as well. But we don’t have to think alike, do we.

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