phd Isaac Newton/SBS2-1

I need two discussion replies – 150 words each

How Language Transformed Humanity

If any of you aren’t familiar with TED talks, you should know that they have some convenient features – in addition to subtitles in a few dozen languages, they have interactive transcripts.  This means you can read the transcript and click on a part of the lecture that you want to hear again and you’ll be whisked right there as if by magic.  Warning: once you start browsing the topics in the vast and growing TED collection you may find them addictive!

In this talk, biologist Mark Pagel tells an interesting story about how the development of spoken language was the defining event in the evolution of homo sapiens, essentially enabling us to change the world in ways that aren’t possible in any other species.  He then poses an intriguing question:  might it be inevitable that we move toward a single global language?

For this week’s post, I’d like you to comment on his conclusion.  Even though none of us are linguists or biologists, we can certainly ponder his argument and speculate about our potential future.  Also, feel free to note any other points in his lecture that you found surprising or thought provoking.

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