From the origin of language to the diversification of languages

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In this paper we recall the arguments put forward in an attempt to link language origins and specific elements of the fossil record (pigment use, burial practices, personal ornaments, production of depictions and carvings, musical traditions, various anatomical features), and summarise the scenarios proposed by palaeoanthropologists and archaeologists to account for the emergence of modern behavioral traits. This review challenges the idea of a strict link between biological and behavioural change and suggests that modern cognition and language are results of a gradual, complex and non-linear process to whose advancement different human populations and possibly a number of fossil human species have contributed.


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