Branko J. Hribovshek
The Movius line, the stone tools and the emerging of the language types are interpreted in the terms of the hominin hunting techniques, hunter group sizes and the prey availability.
There is more than a half century long lasting discussion and controversy on the line of the geographic distribution of the lithic tools types – the Movius line – and their development, denominated as various lithic innovations or lithic industries. A vast amount of literature on lithic tools, the hunter-gatherers and the human evolution, the hominin mental capabilities, the culture and the language development with not seldom controversial conclusions is available, and shows that a further interdisciplinary research on these subjects is mandatory. This article is therefore somewhat limited in its aim to interpret the Movius line from the »hunters standpoint«. The general archaeological artefact data will be mostly used. For our further discussion only the most necessary details will be mentioned.
The lithic tools and the animal bone rests are mostly sole and abundant archaeological artefacts of the past hominin actions. The humanoid artefacts – the skeleton and bone parts – are very sparse. There is close relationship between them – which tool, tool shape and their change is due to the adaptation on local environmental constraints, which is due to the hominin evolution? The answers on these questions are most important for any conclusions on human evolution based on lithic tools...and therefore also for the interpretation of the Movius line.
... on lithic tools and hominin evolution
Proposed were various theories on the hominin abilities, capabilities, possibilities, mental and cultural evolution etc. from, on and of the lithic tool shapes and the knapping techniques – sometimes more or less controversial 1, which to list is out of the scope of this article. On the experimental research on the lithic tools related issues see 2. On the critics and objections – especially on issues concerning hand axes – on archaeological research, assertions and interpretations see 3.
In the scope of this discussion only the oldest common lithic tools will be considered. They are due to their shape and use assigned to three basic types – the choppers, hand axes and flakes or blades. They are classified 4 as the modes of different industries or technologies.
The choppers are the eldest – the ~2.6 million years old Mode 1 Oldowan technology 5. In its succession is the 1.76 million years old Mode 2 Acheulian technology 6 with later – the 300 thousand years old Mode 3 Mousterian, Levallois core development technology 7. Characteristic for Acheulian lithic tools is the hand axe, the Acheulian biface – as a flat drop shaped stone with both more or less elaborate symmetric sides – the faces – and the later Levallois core, a sharp edge stone flake, on one side flat, on the other side convex knapped stone. These tools types of various qualities were produced by hominins till some 200-100 thousand years ago, later mostly superseded by a plethora of worked out blades, flakes, a micro lithic technology – Mode 4 and Mode 5 tools 8. But the stone tools are actually used till the present time, as their »derivatives« and further development of the hand axe with an added grip can be found in the daily use by the natives of New Guinea – nowadays perhaps just as the touristic souvenir. But, according to literature, the modern man allegedly did not use Acheulian tools.
R. Foley and M. M. Lahr have in their study 9 found that there is a strong but not entirely straightforward relationship between human phylogeny and technological modes. The modes are deeply stable; they persist much longer in some places than others. The technologies seem to change during the course of a human lineage’s existence (Fig. 1). Therefore is the first appearance of a new technology a demographic process usually emerging in the small populations and the adaptive advantage leads to a geographical range expansion of the continental proportions.
In my view are the tools of different modes in-commensurable, they can not be compared as their most significant properties substantially differ – therefore are they different modes – and therefore are they actually different tools for the different usage. Even, as it partially seems to be a relatively long and continuous transition between them, are they made for a probably continually changing use. The long, eons presence of the same tool mode confirms, that the tool was most adapted for the aimed usage 10, produced with the indisputable intention, and so actually mostly independent from the evolution of the hominin mental capabilities. It suggests a very gradual and relatively slow evolutionary progress. The exceptions were probably the significant evolutionary steps on the overall evolution stage – as with the Mode 1 chopper technologies invention, from advanced hominides to hominines 11, as the Homo became the »meat eater« – the scavenger and the hunter. Due to the new food sources their evolution accelerated in a relatively short time and their line separated significantly from advanced apes. The same pattern was very probably repeated at the further changes of modes.
Keeping in mind, that the various Homo species identified, may be just the short and incomplete glimpses of the small parts of the human lineage, separated by the vast time intervals, is the lineage obviously continuous to the modern man. The apparent evolutionary »missing links« or »jumps« – of various hominin species, especially that relating to human »modernity« – may be interpreted as a phase transitions of a dissipative structure, here especially of the brain as the dissipative structure – the subject to be touched later.
Further, there was generally no accessible practical alternative to stone tools for the given use. It is even possible that the tool – especially the hand axe – could have been reinvented multiple times. The tool mode change was introduced very probably under the environmental constraints 11 due to a food change or an acquisition of the additional new food sources. Or in our view, as a new need for a new usage, as a primary cause and in a feedback, led to the progress of the hominin abilities. This new advantages have boosted the population size, the further evolution of anatomy and mental capabilities, the social development, the behaviour and the culture.
The Movius line
Before we proceed, let us remember, that the hand axe is the only preserved object entirely produced by hominins in their whole time of evolution to the modern Homo – produced more than 1.5 million years long. It is the unique object produced by hominins over so a vast time interval, perhaps in the whole past and future of the species. The hand axe is for hundreds of thousands of years practically the only, save the knapping rests, clearly identifiable artefact of hominin actions. It is found in thousands of exemplars, very seldom in the discernible funds, which could be clearly interpreted and analysed. It is mostly impossible to determine what belongs to the same age, what produced the same knapper and for which purpose. Therefore the research of the hominin evolution heavily relied on the hand axe, giving probably to much one sided and biased conclusions. The same is valid also for the Movius line...
The Movius line is a demarcation separating the geographical areas of lithic tool sites on which the hand axes were found from the sites where almost no hand axes were found (Fig. 2). The foundings of Acheulian tools are widespread in Africa and western Eurasia with India, but not in eastern Asia and north Eurasia 12,13. It has to be emphasized, that the Movius line, the founds of lithic tools, are the ultimate, but not unique witnesses of the whole human evolution through all the ages regardless of any hominin species.
In the geographical areas abundant with the hand axes founds, many of the axes were symmetrically precise and elaborately worked out. The axes were crude and roughly worked out, if found at all in other areas. From the time of the discovery by H. Movius various new sites of lithic tools were found, the types of tools were refined and redefined. Accordingly was the Movius line somewhat corrected and additional geographic areas of funds marked (14, 15).
The most important is discovery made by M. Alinei 16, who found out that the geographic areas with the sites of the different types of lithic tools funds correspond to the geographic areas of the three basic language types – isolating, flexing (or fusional) and the agglutinative:
… a lucid synthesis of the interdisciplinary arguments that can be marshaled in favor of the theory of the beginning of language with the earliest hominids, focusing on the relationship between tool making, social behavior, language and neural development ...
...that the areal distribution of the three earliest types of lithic tools corresponds exactly with the areal distribution of the three world types of language, namely isolating, inflecting (or fusional) and agglutinative; and that the three types of lithic innovations seemed to correspond to the three major lexical types also from a cognitive developmental point of view, in the spirit of Gibson's view that "the level of cognitive complexity applied to making tools may provide insights to the levels of cognitive capacity available for linguistic and other functions" …
The three earliest types of lithic tools, to which M. Alinei refers, are hand axes, flakes/blades and choppers (Fig. 2). We keep this designation in our discussion. For the corresponding more detailed classification in terms of modes, see 16. M. Alinei, as obvious also from quote, compared and related also the tool making techniques – the stone knapping techniques – to the language types. The cause of this relationship is the same – it will be later shown – as also for the tool and language types.
These data and the already proposed interpretations gave a new dimension to the problematics of language emergence with the fact that the tool type distribution corresponds to the distribution of the currently extant (modern) language types. To name explicitly the hominins in question went obsolete, as with the M. Alinei's discovery, the whole human lineage through the whole eons of human evolution to the modern man got so directly and completely involved. According to this argument, the more or less continuous human development must be accepted as a fact, not excluding some regional variations reduced trough possible bottleneck situations. This naturally does not exclude the cultural exchange and the interbreeding of the possible old local populations with the Cro-Magnon man.
D. Hodgson et al. 17 review and discusses various publications on proposed connection of the brain function evolution and the making of lithic tools, especially hand axes and the precision of their symmetry as a problem to cope with prior to the explanation of the Movius line:
….that Acheulean tools reveal a trend beginning with an imprecise kind of symmetry and leading to more defined regularities. Recent findings on how the brain functions can help to clarify why this sequence evolved...
... to culminate in the superior parietal lobe. As this area is deemed to have undergone enlargement from Homo habilis through H. erectus to modern humans... the implications are obvious in the present context. The superior parietal lobe has been shown to be particularly active when an experienced stone knapper fashions a tool .... Its enlargement from H. habilis to modern humans helps to explain the relative ineptness of chimps in manipulating tools.
As a consequence of this – for the research on the evolution of the early hominins probably the reasonable results – extrapolated to the modern humans, especially related to the ideas of the multiregional human evolution or sudden evolutionary jumps – shows the review to what a bizarre explanations the discussions led. Even in some of the most serious scientific journals was left as the most probable cause for the absence of the hand axes in the given geographic regions, the low level cognitive capacity of the native hominins. In the consequence this also includes modern humans in the corresponding geographic areas. The absence of the hand axes as the »cultural retardation« seems to be widely accepted in the certain archaeological circles. It is directly connected to the notion of the »primitive« forms of humans, even the modern ones – what is racism, based on the »white man« hubris.
The production of hand axe was acquired by social learning and that hand axes are therefore cultural objects, the form of Acheulean hand axes was at least partly under genetic control... 18
It is not clear, why would the more precise hand axe – perhaps a result of the competition in making between male hunters – promote »paleoboys« conquest of »paleogirls« hearts, even be a result of some genetic predisposition and instinctive need for tool making. But a nice fur did! Also nowadays! Even less is understandable that the social learning should lead sole to cultural objects.
The claim of inability of north-eastern Eurasian hominins to produce a highly elaborate and perfectly symmetric objects is refuted just with a glance on the old cave paintings from the Urals – Kapova cave exhibited in Tretyakov gallery in Moscow and various female figurines named »Venuses« 19, all from above the Movius line – which clearly show already fully developed brain functions and skills in that early men – but are fully ignored in the given context.
A summary overview of »no mental« explanations for the possible origin of Movius line is given in 20:
– Loss of technical knowledge,
– Alternative non-lithic raw material and importance of flakes,
– Barriers for migration and cultural diffusion,
– The limitations placed by the nature of the available lithic material
The further summary of founds, their various interpretations, focused on the research in the far east are described in 21:
The North Chinese Paleolithic sequence is perplexing in its relative technological simplicity, strikingly different from the known sequences in Mongolia, Siberia and ultimately western Eurasia. The division between North China and western Eurasia, traditionally labeled the Movius Line ...has withstood years of scrutiny. The explanation for this phenomenon, however, remains elusive.
...It is therefore...inappropriate to attach the research findings presented here to any existing models for the origin and spread of anatomically modem humans (i.e., "out of Africa" or "regional continuity")...
The last quote is probably misleading if we take in account, that the bodies of the dead were disposed to be consumed by vultures – the »burial« practiced even nowadays in the part of these regions, then is the absence of the human burial remains explained and the assertion 21, p242, that there is no connection of the old inhabitants to the modern man, very probably erroneous.
The discussion on the origin of Movius line split the scientific community – calling the opponents to the racism the egalitarians...the examples of the corresponding egalitarian ideas, which are reasonable, but only a partial or a single view explanation 22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29.
The scope of this work is to demonstrate, that the geographic distribution of the lithic tools – the Movius line and the two correspondences – as stated above, the three types of lithic tools and the tool making corresponding both to the three major lexical types, the world types of languages – do not have any relationship to the level of the cognitive complexity or capacity of the later hominins – actually the modern man in different geographic regions, and if any, then just the opposite to the current interpretation. The discussion will be limited to just these three named lexical types.
The hunting, hunting techniques and lithic tools
The human lineage evolved in Africa until ~1.8 million years ago when Homo erectus strode forth into the rest of the world. H. erectus was the first hominin to have the basic modern body plan: long legs for bipedalism, short arms with dexterous fingers and a flattened face with a bigger brain... 30.
and very probably sufficiently developed vocal and auditory organs, enabling the speech.
Above-mentioned body plan evolved clearly as an adaptation to the environmental conditions. These were forming also the hominin behavior, which in return feedback promoted the further evolution of body, brain and other capabilities. The cooperation between the hominins had the essential role as the fundamental shaping force of the individual as well as the social evolution.
In these prehistoric times were the hominins of every provenience scavengers, hunters and gatherers. The hunting and the gathering were the imperative occupations to survive through more than million of years. The accommodation and adaptation to these occupations essentially determined hominin evolution. The corresponding hunting techniques, weapons and tools were adapted and developed. These all, with no doubt, left the trace in our body plan, in our past and present behaviour, in our culture and society, in our languages as well as in the archaeological artefacts.
Our discussion and interpretations relies heavily on the hunter-gatherer context of the hominin evolution. Contrary to the most and usual interpretations of the lithic tools – at least some of them as the hand axe, considered to be probably mainly cultural objects – we consider all lithic tools as exclusively utilitarian objects, produced solely with the aim for a concrete daily usage, for daily needs 31.
The first hunter-gatherers, also the scavengers, emerged with the »invention« of meat eating of pre-modern Homo : Homo ergaster 1.9 million years, Homo erectus 1.9-1.6 million years. Case studies show direct evidence for the animal-based foods: small animal protein (termites), large animal protein from hippo carcass, and the anatomy evidence shows the increased brain size 11.
This is the age of the choppers, the Mode 1 technology. Choppers were made by knapping on one side some crude blades or flakes from the mostly river gravel stones. They were made just for the given occasion as the simplest and fastest solution. This shows the raw starting material and the simple making. The choppers as the blades were discarded after the use. Their makers were probably mostly scavengers and relatively seldom hunters. Actually were the choppers less hunting as the butchering tools. Very probably used early Homo already also other simple weapons – the club, stick or spear, probably even a sling.
Further, it is supposed that the first big game hunters were allegedly Neanderthals. According to the general opinion remain the origins of deliberate organized hunting archaeologically unknown 11.
For us, it is hardly to accept these both – actually contradictory opinions – as possible facts. With the organized hunting was a group of hunters capable to hunt the big game if available. In comparison to the present day predators, which hunt in groups – as lions, wolves, hyenas, chimpanzees, whales etc. – they hunt always more or less organized, and there is no reason to underestimate our, even substantially »less evolved« predecessors. As far as concerns the group organization, I also observed the baboons as they orchestrated the fake theft on one side of the lodge to engage and divert the attention of the personnel, while the other baboon group, hidden and waiting, used the proper moment for the theft and the robbery on the other side. Actually, quite a high level of organization theft already by apes ...
Especially the hunting techniques – to prey, stalk, pursue, chase, isolate, attack and kill – are in principle the same for all – hominin and animal predators. As the case studies show – the human touch in hunting was the use of weapons, more sophisticated use of landscape properties – watering sites, gorges, precipices – and traps. These necessarily bound the hunters to hunt and to stay on the convenient locations, getting to be less mobile, but having enough food. In the consequence the choppers started to be more elaborate, taking more and more the form of a hand axe, the Mode 2 technology. There was actually not a great shift in the technology of making, but in the optimised and standardized form. The Homo evolved to the »full time« hunter.
In other studies, reporting among them some clearly identified cases, was the use of hand axes and the meat transport over relatively short distances (ca 3 km)32, seldom longer 33. There was the accumulation of hand axes on the production sites 33, and on various other strategic sites as a part of the »structured« use of a landscape. Some sites were declared as the »ritual« discards sites of the hand axes, usually the sites of multiple big game kills and the meat consume. Hand axes were used mostly locally 21, and also the raw material for their production.
There are two main controversies on the hand axe – for some archaeologists is the making of the hand axe a simple procedure, for others a relatively skilful work, for some archaeologists is the hand axe just the butchers and a very versatile hand tool, for others also a projectile weapon. The fact is, that the hand axe represents the most optimal product, which could be made by the stone knapping technique for its maker, user and use, as demonstrated in 10. In the immense time interval of its use, was the hand axe as the optimum product – more or less always of the comparable shape and size – as already said, perhaps multiple times reinvented 34. Also the standardization of the shape and the knapping techniques routine negate any probable notion of the hand axe as the cultural object. From the standpoint of the hunter-gatherers was the hand axe actually the consumable product – made and used mostly locally, deposited (named the »accumulation«) on strategic sites for later use, and at last discarded, as mentioned above.
I argue, that these routines and the standardization witness the preference of the prey of the same type and the routinely persistent hunting technique on the same site, if possible. The differences, found in the »palimpsest« assemblages, are more or less due to the artefacts from other times, other prey, and changed landscape on the more or less same site. To the standardized shelter constructions lead very probably this routine. The caves, if available, in which the archaeological artefacts were able to be preserved and found, lead to our designation as the cave men – just the predominant bias in our notions.
There is a lot of »mystic« on the so-called »ritual« discard of the hand axes in the literature 35. For hunters is the discard clear for just simple practical reasons: on the move to other hunting grounds abandoning the unnecessary burden, the sanitary discard of the with blood and decomposing meat rests smeared axe, which regularly proved to get to be poisonous, full of parasites.
The use of the hand axe, not only as predominantly a butcher tool, but as a sling projectile, suggests the case study 35, stating that the hand axes of slightly smaller size were found scattered on the sites of the single kill of the medium game, and the bigger ones on the sites of the multiple kills of the big game. The slings are relatively simple weapons, and almost inevitable very early invented, but made from organic material they left no trace as an archaeological artefact.
In 36 the authors reviewed the two competitive models of the modern Homo emergence – the replacement model (sudden emergence of the modern man replacing the previous »versions« at ca 200 thousand years) versus the continuity model (from ca 2 million years), and the disparity between our biological and behavioural evolution named »sapient paradox«. The modernity as »modern behavior« emerged ca 300-250 thousand years ago, out of Africa dispersal 65-40 thousand years ago, but the complete repertoire of »modern behaviour« in European Upper Palaeolithic after ca 40 thousand years.
The Mode 3 Levallois technique 7 – the prepared core technique – emerged roughly with the first homo »modernity«, but found in Neanderthal use as well, and is not seldom »attached« to the hand axe technique, due to the similar shape of the prepared core. But, it is from the technical standpoint a substantial change – the cores are just similar in general, substantially flakes – they are flat on one side, on the opposite sharp bulged, the sharp edges are knapped by flaking prior to final knapping strike removal of the core from the matrix stone 7. The cores are somewhat less coarse, slimmer, than the Acheulian hand axe. Even if it was still »manufacture«, the technique has a touch of the »serial« production – a variety of forms was produced with this techniques also for various, other than hand axe uses, applications. The technique demands somehow more skill and routine, it was perhaps used only by the »professionals« to make the tools for the whole clan.
With the hunt specialization – an organized group could more easily hunt the more abundant, but highly mobile prey, as were the herds of grazers. The catch enabled also the accumulation of meat, and the herds were actually the best food provisions. Even the selection of the animals to catch – preferably the adult reindeer males – is obvious from the bone artefacts on the kill sites in the case study 37 – already some 380 to 220 thousand years (dating disputed) ago – that witness the planed care of food source – in spite of the fact that the wild horses and some other bigger animals were hunted additionally. The high prey mobility made necessary the use of spears and bows to kill from a distance, as well to enable they recovery for a multiple use. The hand axes were to heavy as the »ammunition« and the slings had to short a range. The medium size catch was probably transported to the »dwelling« site and then butchered. The Levallois cores and blades, if present, were needed just as the butcher tools at »home«.
The selection of the prey and the care for the herd were predecessors of the animal domestication and husbandry. Probably the Homo already possessed some domesticated animals, herded for the reserve provision or possibly just as pets.
I argue, that the emergence of the Levallois techniques 10 points to this major change in the food acquisition.
The hunt was getting more specialized, the spears and the bows the common weapons. The signs of the possible animal domestication emerged, maybe already occasionally pursued by H. helmei, but fully emerging many millennia later. The new and more abundant food supply lead to the population growth and the further hominin body, mental and social evolution. The »sapient paradox« may be the consequence of an earlier »bottle neck« event, which was probably one of the reasons for migration »out of Africa« and which caused the probable return to old less efficient hunting techniques. Therefore was the new start of an animal domestication in newly populated regions almost inevitable – and that was probably also the reason for the better survival chances of the H. sapiens, as an apprentice »shepherd«, than they were for the H. neanderthalensis, »solely a hunter«. For this division were initially the causes probable just the geographic constraints.
With the emergence of the Mode 4 and the Mode 5 technology, connected to H. sapiens with the »modern behaviour«, were the heavy stone tools more and more replaced with the light stone, wood, bone and antler products in combined or composite tools. Among them were especially the weapons – spears, javelins, bows and arrows etc. The more and more evolved animal husbandry and the more efficient hunt enabled the population expansion in the regions with less abundant game after the extinction of the big game animals. The Mode 4 and the Mode 5 technology show also the predominantly »home« use of the lithic tools; they were even reshaped and re-adapted after the use, even hardened with the heat treatment 38.
But the Mode 1 technology was actually never abandoned – as it was useful as a very fast and immediate, tool making on the spot, probably by all hominins – the choppers and the crude blades, occasionally used if alternative solutions were not at hand. This happened surely casually on the long hunting expeditions. In the hard times, in hostile environments, when the catch and the population were reduced, the hominins surely used and were forced to use the most simple, readily available means to survive – among them was surely the use of choppers and crude blades.
This short, crude, meagre and one sided case studies are just a hint for the presumed hominin hunting actions, hunting techniques and behaviours, many thousand times performed, always different and unique, over the eons of hominin evolution. In the following a generalized description of the assumed, partly established and reasonable hunting habits as hunting techniques, environments, prey sizes and the weapons used, are listed – from the archaeological founds, present day natives and the anthropological research:
· Number of hunters (estimates as considered reasonable):
- A couple or an individual,
- Small group (approximate estimate ~ around half dozen),
- Large group (approximate estimate ~ dozen and more),
· Size of prey:
- Small game – birds, rabbits, beaver and var. rodents, fish etc.,
- Medium game – approx. to the human body size – roe, antelope, hog, sheep, goat etc.,
- Big game – bovine, mammoth, deer, horse, rhinoceros etc.,
· Hunting tools:
- Hand axe, throwing stick, club, lance, spear, sling, bola, bow and arrows, blow pipe, composite bone-stone-wood axe, club, lance, spear,
Meat processing tools:
- Hand axe, chopper, flake, club, fire, glowed stone, grill stick,
· Hunting actions:
- Prey or lurk, stalk, pursuit, chase, isolate, trap, ambush, attack, kill, dismember, transport,
- Jungle or forest, savannas, steppe, tundra, marsh, water...
The modern hunters provided also some hunting information, especially the African Khoisan, the Australian Aborigines, the Kalimantan and New Guinea natives as the Indian tribes in the jungles of South America, naturally taking in account that some of them became already »spoiled« by modern tools, and have been also a long ago already farmers with knives and machetes. They use mostly traps, bows, blowpipes, and boomerangs – there is no big game in jungle or no more big game in savanna to be hunted, available.
The hunters – especially Palaeolithic, Neolithic, the later ones, save the »sportsman«, they went to hunt only with the necessary hunting tools, with the tools and weapons which they did really need and had for the given prey and circumstances. In the following we shall discuss just the »simplified, purified and schematised« and somewhat »idealized« cases, which emphasize just the most characteristic properties of the corresponding common hunting techniques and their relationships or influences on the tools used.
1. A very small group of hunters or an individual – they were capable to hunt just the small game. They had to be noiseless, mostly silent and cautiously moving, preying and stalking. They hunted by hand and cub, throwing stones and sticks in the dawn of the hominin evolution. Then, after the eons, they hunted with bow and arrows, blowpipes in forests or dense jungles and possible light throw weapons as slings, spears, boomerangs, maybe also with as heavy device as a bola, in grasslands, in savannas, semi deserts or tundra. There is scarcely a reason, that they would not have been able to produce the elaborate stone tools according to the general development in the corresponding times, especially as they were mostly the rest of a larger group. But the heavy stone tools more impeded them as helped in the hunt.
The hunters had to be very swift and mobile and the whole family often had to move following the prey. The catch was mostly consumed on the spot. A gender labour division was almost contra productive and if happened, then just temporary at the childbirths and in the early infancy. The choppers and crude flakes were made on the spot to dismember and clean the catch, and were then usually disposed to move on unburdened. These were the times of the Mode 1 technology, used occasionally by small groups of hunters even in the game rich environments, but persistently by any group of hunters in the small game regions through the whole time of the evolution to the modern homo.
It has to be mentioned, that these hominins, or these people in general, they were the survivors of the hostile circumstances, they were capable to survive in the hard times and hard environments. They were the people, which spread over the continents, prospered and multiplied even in the extreme hostile environments. There is no reason to doubt in their »cognitive capacity, complexity or development«, which were possibly even superior to the average hominins in their time.
2. A smaller group of hunters, mostly the members of the smaller population, was capable to hunt also the medium game, mostly the very mobile herds of the grazers. They had to be also noiseless, silent and very mobile while stalking, pursuing and attacking. The hand axes were mostly useless on this type of hunt. They had to be transported on the long distances and were after the use hardly recoverable. The scattered hunters have to coordinate their actions; every of the hunters had his proper task – stalking, chasing and ambush. The lightweight equipment was necessary – bow and arrows, less probably the spears, as for their use a smaller distance to the prey was necessary. The first attack should have been successful, the hit on the first throw or blow. It is known from the African bush, that the hunters, in just past modern times, followed running the wounded antelope a couple of days till they were able to collect finally their catch. These hunters also did not waste time and work to produce an elaborate stone tool. If needed, it was mostly and very probably just a relatively quick improvisation on the spot – choppers and crude flakes – just mostly the Mode1 technology. They needed them to dismember the animals to be transported to their family.
The gender labor division emerged very probably due to the greater distances and absences to be prevailed by males in hunt. The »atavistic« residuum – the male hunter and the female gatherer 39 – is even nowadays present in the patriarchal societies, in gender labour division, gender preferences in jobs type, as in the noticeable gender difference in the landscape orientation ability. Nowadays heavy criticized, but tried to be abolished by education, the gender labour division emerged as the best survival strategy at that and probable also some later times – the enhanced child care staying sheltered »at home« and the daily less dangerous gathering of the food supply, which saved many families in the case of the hunt misadventures and long male hunt excursion absences. The »at home« stayed females with offspring contributed essentially and probably almost sole to the hominin cultural evolution and language richness. The persistent and abundant food supply enhanced the individual and the social development, the population growth and the genetic stability.
The stone tools, if needed, were mostly used »at home«. They were becoming more and more elaborate; the crude choppers to hand axes, and a variety of blades and flakes for daily use – already an evolving Mode 2 technology. After the use were, due to the sanitary reasons, discarded. The hand axes and blades were very probably produced mostly as raw products by males, and then occasionally also fine finished by females – these axes and blades could be cleaned and therefore repeatedly used.
3. A larger group of hunters was capable to hunt the big game. The animals were ambushed and then chased in traps – narrow valleys, gorges, pits, precipices etc. The hunters used certainly heavy tools as hand axes to dismember the catch killed mostly with heavy spears, cubs and stones. They hunted along the known animal paths, in grass landscapes with scattered trees and bushes and in savanna. The great herds were dangerous – a big kill was seldom and if, then due to the convenient terrain. They very probably isolated single animals, or focused on the lone grazers and so concentrated the efforts to enable the success. The group did not need to be very mobile, it was sufficient to be posted and hidden relatively near the animal paths and traps. The meat was consumed somewhere in the neighbourhood, mostly near the fresh water supplies, where they may have had at least temporary rest places. Such group was possible to gather only in the societies with larger population. These societies were due to their size less mobile and more organized in the use of the occupied territory 35.
A full gender labour division was possibly already extant, providing better child care and also promoting the cultural evolution. With the time further labour divisions emerged. The most important would be the already mentioned, very probable emergence of herding and animal husbandry, maybe just the keeping of pet animals, which reduced the need to hunt. It caused the further development and refinement of the stone tools for various tasks for the »home« use. This was the time of the emergent Levalloisian technology. Probably existed among them also the individuals specialized to produce the tools and hunting equipment of better quality as the average tribesmen. This tool making was probably with the time also an object of some prestige, the product getting the cultural touch as it is common in larger societies, hence even more elaborately done as necessary. These points were also quoted as the reason for differences in the quality of tools 40.
I argue, from the hunter’s point of view, the carefully shaped and ground axes, the bifacial, were not just reusable tools, but also superb projectiles, thrown with the hand or from the sling. Their aerodynamic and surf properties enabled a precise and oriented hit to deliver the most efficient cut blow. It is hard to ascribe each tool variation as a sudden new invention. The aeons long experience and a precise scrutiny of the tool behaviour played the major role. Just compare the boomerang!
Generally, the abundant game, the successful catch and so sufficient nourishment led to population growth, to the groups with more numerous hunters. They could hunt more efficiently and were waging to hunt the bigger animals, what caused even greater population size – also less mobile – and the use of more elaborate tools...and so on...
Thus a correspondence or a connection between the hunting tool type, their number, the hunting technique, the prey type, the prey abundance and the number of hunters is obvious. The tool assignment to the geographic areas, according to the Movius line, is thus clearly explained from the hunters perspective and thus less elusive: the big and medium game was on disposal in savannah and forests, the medium and small game in steppes and jungles, the small game prevailed only in temporary deserts, in tundra, marshes and on waters. The Movius line is thus the demarcation between the regions abundant with big and medium game and the regions with smaller and scarcer game. Especially the hunters in these hostile regions had a harder way of life. They had to be more inventive, mobile and efficient to survive. Interpreting their capabilities with the same presently given and promoted mental capacity arguments, implies that they should have possessed higher cognitive capabilities than the hand axe users, shielded in groups, with more »leisure life« in the game abundant regions. It is just the opposite to the present interpretations, which granted them, due to the absence of hand axes or the seemingly superior axe quality from our perspective, only limited cognitive capabilities. They actually used just the necessary tools and did not waste the time and energy to work out unnecessary and unpractical objects for their daily occupation.
Also the number of archaeological founds – very numerous bifacial elaborate axes, the rare crude axes and … the relatively rare funds of only cutting tools support the »hunter group and prey type« arguments.
The tool types and Movius line, as demonstrated, prove just the opposite as till now supposed and promoted.
The hunting, hunting techniques, acoustics and language types
The sound of the spoken language is our daily, the most used means of communication. The sound is also the most common means of communication among the higher developed living beings and is used by very different species – save probably the scent, body gestures or bioluminescence, which are all preferably species limited. As far as concerns the sounds, all mammals, so also by us, produce them in the mouth with the breathed air, at least almost... and all of them are capable to hear all sounds by them produced.
Two aspects are therefore here to be considered: the sounds generated and the sounds perceived and among them the sounds heard. The distinction between the sounds perceived and the sounds heard is somewhat ambiguous, but we understand it as a difference between the sounds just registered – perceived – and the sounds, which are further analysed, interpreted and reacted upon – the sounds heard.
Almost all living beings are capable to register the sound vibrations, or to perceive and to react on sound. All more evolved species have the capability to discern the direction of the sound source and to locate it in an interval of frequencies – in a range of tones. These frequencies are defined by the distance between the ears and the sound velocity in the air or in the water. The phase shift of the sound waves between the »left« and the »right« ear is registered by the nervous system and from it is then the direction »calculated«. To register the phase shift certain duration of sound is necessary. In a short burst the phase shift cannot be clearly resolved, and thus the direction of the sound source may not be properly resolved. The sound has to have also the sufficient intensity to be perceived. The ear is capable to discern and resolve the sounds of different frequencies in a certain frequency and intensity range, the noise or sounds can be analysed and the particular tones and patterns picked up.
These are the general basics of the hearing. All the differences are in the frequency ranges of various species in the sounds generated, perceived and heard. The sounds generated are naturally compatible with the species hearing capabilities. Both – hearing capabilities and the sounds generated are the result of the evolutionary adaptation of species on the living and-or hunting environment as well on the properties of the prey or the predator.
Essential is the physics of the sound spreading (Fig. 3) – the lower tones spread less directional, over longer distances, reflect less and they »go around« the corners (diffraction), the higher tones are more damped with the distance, spread less, are more directional, less »go around« and they more readily reflect. Naturally, the hearing capabilities – the sound perception and analysis – the pitch sensitivity, the tone resolution, the frequency and the intensity ranges, the sound screening etc., all the properties interdependent through the ear structure and physiology as described by anatomy and biophysics 41. The same describe also the capability of the sounds generated variety – the speech – the functional interplay of the mouth cavity, the nose, the tongue, the tonsils as also the control of the air stream by the chest – and all have their evolutionary sense and consequences. These capabilities shaped essentially the speech and the language in linguistic sense and were shaped in feedback by the needs of their use.
As already stated above were the hominins hunters and gatherers practically through the whole time span of their evolution to the modern man – hundreds of thousands of years. Therefore hunting necessities, among maybe less important reasons, influenced essentially also the evolution of the sound perception, hearing and speech, the emergence of language and its development – its richness and variations. The sound, already the speech, used as the means of communication in the course of hunt, was essential one of the basic conditions for a successful hunt.
The small game hunters had to locate the prey undiscovered, they had to stalk and to pursue it undiscovered, even if they had to coordinate their actions with the fellow hunters. They used for communication, usually over short distances, the high pitch, low intensity – whisper – and very short duration sounds, the source of which the prey could not properly interpret and locate. The sounds were similar to usual naturally occasional noises, as the wood cracking, buzz, plosive sounds, fall bumps, the bird's and insect's chirps … – it was actually the emerging click language.
The hominins started as the small game hunters, in the small groups, and so »invented« the click language as the most appropriate means to hunt the small game. The use of the click language was an essential advantage for them and it did not depend even later much on the hunter group size. The game on disposal – the small game – was the basic constraint for its persistence through eons. The people, the speakers of click language lived always under the hard conditions in a very harsh environments.
Here is the best example of Ju|’hoansi and Hadzabe people, which have very similar click languages – the Khoisan family of languages – in spite of their genetic distance, the meaning and the explanation given by the linguists43:
...The deep genetic divergence among click-speaking peoples of Africa and mounting linguistic evidence suggest that click consonants date to early in the history of modern humans. At least two explanations remain viable. Clicks may have persisted for tens of thousands of years, independently in multiple populations, as a neutral trait. Alternatively, clicks may have been retained, because they confer an advantage during hunting in certain environments...
... Click systems may impact hunting success. During stalking of prey, Ju|’hoansi revert to a hushed whisper-like communication. Speech is devoiced and consists almost entirely of clicks...
...I dare to suppose, that clicks are elder than hundred thousands of years, but let me not jump to far ahead... Just to mention – we have probably a very smooth transition from animal communication to hominid language in the course of evolution.
Here is professor M. Ruhlen perhaps even to cautious on the subject of click languages as the oldest type of language – more than hundred thousand of years, perhaps a million or more.
To my mind, the position of the Khoisan family in the classification of the world’s languages is the most important unresolved problem in linguistic taxonomy 44.
From everyday life – the voices ps, pst, ts, tc, sss..., mm, mhm etc. – in various heights, in various changes of length, in lowering or rising etc. – are actually words belonging to the click language. We understand them all, regardless of our mother tongue, be it any. Their meaning we newer learned – therefore is their meaning in all expression forms already genetically conditioned. Some are understandable already in the early infancy, some are clear even to animals. These are actually the first emergence of language and they prove its high age as well that the language is inseparable from an information system.
Professor Ruhlen confirms that the click languages – even that they were long time considered as primitive – have the whole richness of expression, comparable to any modern »developed« language.
In the regions of abundant and various game the hominin adapted to other conditions. To an abundant catch followed the population growth and so the number of hunters, what enabled them to hunt bigger and different game. The hunting technique and the type of hunting tools changed, as well the landscape and the environment constraints. Accordingly was changed and adapted the art of the respective vocal communication.
More numerous populations caused the enrichment and the development (in linguistic sense) of the language due to the necessity of more elaborate communication between individuals also in daily life. This phase is very probably a generally female contribution to the language complexity, as the starting phase has to be attributed to both genders, cooperating in small groups. The sole male hunting was only in the periods of the early child infancy. With the number of hunters and the abundant catch, the females very probably soon abandoned the cooperation in hunting and stayed in larger society, where the communication enriched the language with the properties not necessarily essential for hunt. Another interpretation in 46.
– If the game on disposal was still only the small game, but a new »hunt less« sources of food were acquired – notably with farming, then these hominid groups retained and further adapted the click language – to the characteristics of the isolation type of language. They started to live in fertile environments.
– If the game on disposal started to be medium game, preferably the herds of highly mobile grazers, the click language gradually had to be changed to be heard and precisely understood over greater distances in an open landscape, but had to be adapted to the more physically exhausting hunt or herding – to find and locate, to stalk, to pursuit over the greater distances and then to attack coordinated. The »clicks« changed to be more voiced and the more differentiated notions started to be expressed as the words composed of these changed clicks – in the last consequence to the characteristics of the agglutination languages. The speakers of these languages are mostly nomadic cattle breeding people. It is even possible that due to the named constraints a possibly already extant flexing language got along with the change to this hunting technique the agglutination characteristics.
– If the game on disposal and the environment corresponded to the big game, then the clicks had to be vocally expanded and varied to enable the effective coordination in the given environment. The big game hunters chased scattered the game after the ambush over the relatively shorter distances loudly in the trap. The lower tone sounds were to be used to be heard over the forest or partly with tree and bush overgrown area. The sounds were more elaborate and varied to be distinguished, to enable the more precise understanding between hunters, which were more spread over the terrain. Therefore the sound variations and combinations led – in the last consequence – to the characteristics of the flexing languages, the changes very probably enhanced with the population growth. Again the female communication in larger societies probably enriched the language with the properties not necessarily essential for hunt.
The interdependence – the correspondence of the game type and abundance, the corresponding vegetation region, the lithic tools, the number of hunters, the acoustics of communication and the population dynamics to the emerging language types – is schematically and idealized depicted in Fig. 4. Factually all these interdependencies mixed, but there remained scarcely discernible main trace.
Next major language changes – in linguistic sense the development – are the consequences of the emerging animal breeding and later of the farming. The hunting techniques constraints became marginal and the predominant new way of life was reflected in the language used. The language vocal changes – the tonalisation, vocalization, accentuation etc. – are due to the multiplicity of the influences – baby talk, onomatopoeia, pronunciation, articulation, environment etc. The illustrative example is the influence of the landscape on the folk songs – the people living in the mountainous regions have clear, simple tonal and rhythmic songs with sharp endings, the people living in the plains more tonally rich, over multiple octave extending, slow rhythmic songs with slow and long refrains – allegedly due to the echo properties 47 of landscape. This changes and adaptations are actually already a cultural achievement, but they may have had a strong role in the evolutionary selection criteria, as they are the result and the expression of a strong emotional influence.
The Cro-Magnon man was very probable a click language speaker. Taking in account the »out of Africa« hypothesis and the obviously close genetic kinship of the non-sub Saharan world population as well as the world language families – the nostratic hypothesis and the language origins – in spite of the controversies of their validity – are in accordance with this assertion. The Movius line and the language types show that the most geographically distant, measuring on the »out of Africa« way, are the isolating type languages, which are of the type the nearest to the click languages. The Cro-Magnon people lived in a gradually more and more dry and harsh north African environment, they were so adapted to hard circumstances and had a motivation to migrate, capable to survive in the most types of extreme environments encountered. They were not numerous – what gave the arguments for a bottleneck hypothesis. They were highly mobile small game hunters and so the people capable to migrate great distances to populate at last all the continents. They were very inventive with high mental abilities to be able to accomplish these migrations – compared to the people living in the »soft« climatic, game rich, environments.
To interpret the types of stone tools, as the types of languages with the mental abilities or capabilities of the early, of the later hominins and of the modern homo is mostly due to the absence of an interdisciplinary research.
The fact is just opposite to the currently promoted meanings – the tools as the language types show the perfect and very sound survival techniques for the given environment of the old hominins as well their later human successors due to very evolved mental capabilities.
In my opinion is the genetic and language evidence overwhelmingly sufficient to support predominantly the single region human development, but does not exclude the multiregional influences and adaptations. The reasons, as it will be discussed later, are the same basic natural laws, directing the development in all cases. But also the analogous and convergent language complexity development in technical sense, but indicated by seemingly arbitrary glottogenesis, is not sufficient to support the multi regional development.
The connection of the hunting techniques with the language types supports additionally predominantly the single region human development and only the later multiregional language diversification or language evolution in the linguistic sense. From other viewpoint see more in 48 on this problematic.
The click language as the oldest type of language, its role and importance for the survival in the everyday life of the old hominin hunters, strongly suggest, that the words were not of an arbitrary origin, but that they were originally composed with sounds probably exactly characterizing their meaning. Their change, due to the above listed causes, led to their later sound »arbitrariness«, naturally also supported by the biologic variability of the speakers – that will be later discussed.
So here remain always reasons for the dispute on the single or a multiregional human development, and on the arbitrariness of the glottogenesis …
The emergence of language, language diversity and glottogenesis – a non linguistic view
The language emerged as a part of the survival strategy in the hominin evolution. This conclusion from the above discussion is the most important consequence of the M. Alinei's discovery 16.
This means that the human language was foremost an utilitarian innovation, due to the hominines as hunters, which in the course of evolution altered and rendered to the cultural achievement. The ability to communicate with a language is treated as the solely human trait. This is surely a fact considering a spoken and written language in linguistic sense. The following discussion will be limited to this human natural spoken language. There is a vast amount of research and publications on this subject by the specialists (see for example 51,52,53)in the related fields, which do not seldom contradict each other. My aim is not to take part on any side, not on any judgment and in any of these discussions, as I am not competent to do so. The aim is just to express some notions on the subject. A non-linguist according to the above-presented argumentation on the Movius line sees it. It is very probable that some facts are already known and I apologise to their authors not to cite them due to my restricted knowledge.
The arguments will be given to illustrate why the language emerged and became more and more complex, but it did not evolve – and that just the human physical abilities and capabilities of speech, to speak and to listen, evolved 54. This implies also the mental and the cognitive human capabilities. They are mutually dependent and they evolved simultaneously, as the cause and the consequence – in the feed back of the general evolution of the human anatomy. Some arguments will be given also for the diversity of the human languages, the diversity and the glottogenesis in the linguistic sense.
From the technical point of view, there is no difference, no sharp demarcation, between the ability of signal exchange and the ability of a communication with the language in the linguistic sense. The difference is gradual; the language is emerging from the signal exchange just with the increasing ability of the amount and complexity of information – the data – to be conveyed. So is the emerging language – the evolution of a language in the sole linguistic sense – a human trait and only in the last consequence predominantly a cultural achievement.
This conjecture is based on the fact, that in the human evolution the ability to convey the huge amount of vital survival information from the parents to offspring and between the grown up members by the language, replaced the scarce and slow hereditary information transfer – the genetic transfer of experience, as well as the scarce and slow learning from the imitation on various occasions. Thus the emerging language vastly increased the individual survival chances as well as that of the whole group and accelerated the evolution of the human anatomy, the human mental capabilities and the human society 55.
The vocal tract and the precisely controlled sound production enable the human ability of speech and the capability to speak. For the hearing – to analyze the sound in general and the sound produced by vocal tract in special – the speech – is the ability and the capability to discern the tones on the frequency, the pitch and intensity, their change and duration, their »color« and composition enabled by the ears. These both systems are as the parts of human anatomy technically the »physical level of communication equipment«. These sounds, if organized, are symbols. They are prone to change slowly, but are variable, and in them is coded or represented with their physical properties the information in general.
The ordered or organized combination of signals, some times the signal sole, is a symbol – and so are symbols on the level of the communication system already words. In this way is a symbol a bearer of a more complex information.
The next level is the coding of signals in these sound symbols and the decoding of signals from these sound symbols. These signals are technically the series of the organized trains of nerve pulses, discernible from their complexity and sequence produced in auditory organs – the reverse, the coding of the organized nerve pulses trains in the system of the sound signals produced in vocal tract. The series of the nerve pulses trains are the information bearer in the nerve system. The information is encoded in their physical properties – frequency, frequency change, pulse number and duration. This level is technically the »data emission« and the »data acquisition system« of the »communication equipment«.
A signal, as just a physical object or event, or both, is more or less complex from the technical point of view. It has to possess the ability to be uniquely identified, uniquely created, uniquely stored, and uniquely reproduced with retrieval from storage. Any organized set of signals – symbols – can then be combined to build a new organized signal set – new symbols – to be further processed or transmitted.
This level is the »information processing system«. The »communication equipment« with the »data emission and acquisition system« is not a part of it, but is subordinated to it. These all systems are the result of the evolutionary adaptation of the »primitive«, less capable but already existent »information systems« of the early primates, actually already present also in almost all higher evolved predecessor beings of the modern Homo.
Let us in the following consider these definitions (adapted from56):
The language is any system of formalized symbols, signs, sounds, gestures, or the like used or conceived as a means of communicating and exchanging information. The information is that from which data and knowledge can be derived. The relationship between the data is logical and they represent the knowledge. Generally is logical that what makes sense.
To resolve these notions – the logic and in consequence the logical for our use, let us start from the basic axioms of physics – space, time, energy, particles and fields. From this physical quantities and their interactions (in general sense) is composed the whole universe. For us is the »real« world, as we sense it and have notions of it, a part of our mental universe. These notions are our information on the real world – whatever it really is.
The fundamental interactions and the fundamental relationships of physical quantities are quantitatively and qualitatively defined as the natural laws. These are obviously generally valid. To be short – these natural laws are the expression of the natural logic as an organized set of rules, a combination of the basic rules of logic in and from the nature. All consequences of natural processes are therefore in principle logical. These basic rules of logic are universal – the symbolic representations of our notions on them are YES, NO, AND, NAND, OR and NOR applicable to the simplest information entities in causal relationships.
The consequence is, that in the organized set of signals, the signals, as the physical objects or processes, have the natural logic relationships. Therefore are such sets able to represent the sets of information entities and they enable the information processing – to create a new information from already known one according to the defined rules. The organized set of signals is a system of formalized symbols according to the definitions above.
The meaning of the word »organized« in the discussion above has to be more specified and connected with the biology in general, the brain and the nerve signals in particular. In this case is a set organized, if its members are, according to their value, regularly distributed in space and time following a set of rules..
In the macroscopic physics, the physics of the with our senses registered world, exist two types of structures – the equilibrium structures and the dissipative structures 57. The equilibrium structures are for example crystal structures and molecules, they are practically eternal, they persist without any change in the constant environmental conditions. The dissipative structures are the structures, which emerge in the physical systems at the certain flow of energy and matter through the system.
These structures are very changeable and they disappear at insufficient, to strong or ceased flow of energy and matter – dependent on the properties and type of each individual structure. They appear as the regularly distributed matter and the flows of energy and matter in the spatially discernible systems, where they may regularly change in time. This distribution is organized; it is the result of the self-organization 58 in the system by the flows of energy and matter in, through and out of the system. The physics of this self-organization is out of scope for our discussion, may be very complex, but is well understood. The basic conditions for the dissipative structure in a physical system is its composition of the »huge« number of the individually discernible parts which interact – atoms, molecules, living cells, living beings etc., and the system should not be in equilibrium as the differences – the clines of the intensity of the physical quantities in and in the system surroundings – give rise to the flows of energy and matter in, through and out of the system.
The dissipative structures are prone to grow, to become more complex, to multiply and to build further dissipative structures from the subordinate dissipative structures. In this way are they able to evolve from less to more complex structures. The evolution process sole – a regulated change in time – is also a part of the over ordinate dissipative structure. The transitions from one to another structure complexity are in principle analogue to the phase transitions of the equilibrium structures. They occur simultaneously with and at the certain »critical« change of the flows and/or external conditions – temperature, pressure, volume, chemical composition...etc. These transitions are relatively short timed and spatially well discernible.
The most complex dissipative structures are the living organisms and their societies. Hence is their ability to evolve, to grow and to multiply 59. They are the most common and most frequent dissipative structures on the planet.
The substantial difference of the living to the nonliving dissipative structures is the transfer of the stored memory of their evolutionary path characteristics and their structure as the consequence – the genetic code – to their offspring structures. It is interesting to note that the genetic code – the information on the dissipative structure itself – is transferred to and coded in the structure of an equilibrium structure – the macromolecules of RNA and DNA. They are prone to be changed, to grow and to multiply organized in the certain dissipative structure environments. These macromolecules were firstly synthesized in the non-living dissipative structures in pre biotic chemical reactions.
The human biologic and social evolution is also the evolution of dissipative structures. Actually is the evolution of all and of any single species in particular, as well as the whole biosphere itself a dissipative structure, composed from the consecutive spatially nested and timely consecutive dissipative structures. In the social evolution emerge as the additional driving forces the interests, the ideas, social and political groups and movements.
The evolution of the one hominin species to the another hominin species, especially if it happened in a relatively short time, may be interpreted as a dissipative structure phase transition – thus demystifying »the missing links«. Also the vast time difference in the emergence of the »modernity« in human behaviour in spite of the same level of the biologic evolution may be interpreted as the phase transition in the social group as the dissipative structure. These phase transitions are obviously the consequences as well as the environmental constraints and the genetic mutations. The later were probably »fixed« and they successfully »spread« when the suitable environmental conditions were met. Relating again to the single or multiregional development theories – neither is excluded in spite of the language similarities, which favour the single region, but other sides the natural laws enable also the multiregional, analogous and convergent development, explaining also the language similarities...
It is the view of life from the viewpoint of physics – the correspondences to the biology are clear and obvious – the organisms as their parts, the organs, are the nested dissipative structures all down to the cells and their organelles.
The dissipative structure is naturally also the human brain as well as any animal brain or any nerve system. The human brain is actually the most complex dissipative structure 60 known. Therefore is its activity also the most complex and highly organized in our views and notions.
How the information is processed, stored and retrieved in brain is not yet clear enough – also not the resulting consciousness and the will. The thought is our conscious brain activity and is the dynamical and organized set of our notions of the »real« world, the result of the brain information processing. Each thought is represented by the organized set of the momentarily interconnected and communicating brain cells. This communication is the exchange of the organized trains of the nerve pulses. Each cell is capable to be connected directly to the thousands of the other nerve cells. Tenths of billions of the nerve cells is so capable to build a googol of googols number of connection combinations; each connection being a symbol of our coded thoughts, notions c. These trains of nerve pulses are capable to transfer the coded information due to their physical properties; they are logical according to their nature and their mutual relations are logical. Therefore they are used for the symbolic information processing. .
The conscious brain activity – the thought – is the processing of the notions and their relations according to the logical rules. From the discussion above it is obvious, that this processing is generally in agreement with the language of thought hypothesis 61. Further, it implies, that the logic processing rules are actually the innate Chomsky's universal grammar. This universal grammar is thus the expression of the natural logic in hominin brain. This is the basic property, more or less complex, dependent on the level of complexity of every nerve system. As it is obvious, and it is the fact, that this property is not solely a human trait.
The information in the brain is represented on the lowest level with the combination of with their synapses connected and with trains of nerve pulses communicating nerve cells. Therefore is the coding of the same or identical information entity from one brain to another brain different due to the biologic variability – it is »private« or »personal« – therefore also individual even for every member of the same species. This coding changes also with the brain development and the newly acquired information, as well as with the thought processes. In the consequence possess every brain for the language of thought a »private coded« grammar, but similar for the members of the same hominin species. It is also obvious, that this »private« grammar represents the individual expression of the universal grammar – universal logic rules – for each individual nerve system.
To accelerate the action, the reaction or the thought, to avoid the processing of the whole to the given thought related information context, is necessary to process just the fundamentals – a reduced part of a notion and its relationships in focus – the reduced part becoming and being so the symbol of the corresponding notion – the information entity. It contains just the information due for the current active processing and the information where and how to access the further related information. It still uniquely identifies the corresponding notion. This symbol is acquired trough experience learning and may connect the »real« world perceptions with the already acquired notions and relationships. It is physically the basic set of signals representing the notion and the relations to be processed and/or memorized. It is also »private« as well as due to the biologic variability of the nerve tissue as also to the biologic variability of the »data acquisition system« from individual to individual.
How is a language – in linguistic sense – then connected with the language of thought, or generally with the brain activity?
It is necessary that the conscious learning process replace in the social group the »private« symbols with »public« symbols and the »public« grammar – they are the »common public« symbols and the »common public« grammar, that enable the information exchange between the individuals as each individual in the given social group may understand them. The signals remain »private« even if they correspondingly change.
These reduced parts of the notions, actually also simple notions, represented by »common public« symbols, are morphemes, words etc. composed from sound signals. Through the »common public« syntax, actually the »common public« grammar is possible to the members of the given social group to express and to exchange understandable more complex information between the individuals using in purely linguistic sense a natural language.
The learning process from the »private« to »public« is actually short circuited in children – they are acquiring the information already connected and represented with the common public symbols and grammar
It is obvious, that the plethora of the human languages is basically due to the biologic variability of the nerve systems and the different environmental constraints, demanding the various survival strategies of the different hominin groups. The national languages in linguistic sense are the »public« symbols and the »public« grammar being actually the »private« symbols and »private« grammar of the various human groups or societies identified as the nations. See 62 for other viewpoint.
The learning process from the »private« to »public« has to be enabled with some properties which should have to be common for both notion expressions. On the related problematics see 63,64 . These are obviously the properties of – generally speaking – the objects to be named and the physics of sound. This implies that the glottogenesis cannot be arbitrary 48 – it may be just variable due to the general human biologic variability – the biologic variability of the anatomy and the mental capacities as the various subject affinities with no general valuation of any intellectual super– or inferiority.
The click language, its variation and change as the primary emerging language was formed according to the properties of the physics of the sound spreading and the constraints of the hunting techniques. Even nowadays exist the words, which show a meaning clearly vocally, optically or otherwise sensually related to the object named. The glottogenesis is only apparently arbitrary as the sounds change due to the variable anatomy of the vocal tract, the environmental constraints and the social interactions.
The major language changes emerged with the emerging animal husbandry and the invention of farming, later the emerging political structures, the trade and the industrialization. These all ways of life shifted the importance of language from the hunting to the subsequently various levels of social life, where the language became predominantly the cultural achievement.
Summary and Conclusion
The Movius line, the geographic distribution of the currently extant (modern) language types corresponding to the geographic distribution of the three earliest types of lithic tools – choppers, hand axes and flakes/blades were interpreted in the terms of the hominin hunting techniques, the number of hunters and the prey availability.
The hunting and the gathering were the sole occupations to survive through hundreds of thousands of years. The accommodation and adaptation to these occupations essentially determined hominin evolution. In the evolutionary feedback, according to the environmental constraints, the corresponding hunting techniques, weapons and tools were adapted and developed. All lithic tools were predominantly utilitarian objects, produced solely with the aim for a concrete daily usage, for daily needs – especially for hunting and butchering.
The tool assignment to the geographic areas, according to the Movius line, may thus be clearly explained from the hunter's perspective: the big and medium game was on disposal in savannah and forests, the medium and small game in steppes and jungles, the small game prevailed only in temporary deserts, in tundra, marshes and on waters. The Movius line is thus the demarcation between the regions abundant with big and medium game and the regions with smaller and scarcer game.
The hand axe was used as a butcher tool, a killing weapon as a throw or a sling projectile for the big and medium game usually chased and trapped by a larger group of hunters. Therefore they seldom moved on and stayed preferably on for the hunt suitable terrain and landscape. The hand axes in this cases did not need to be transported over long distances and could be used multiple times.
All hunters, a small, a large group or an individual in the regions with smaller and scarcer game had to be more mobile to survive. The hand axe was for them not a practical tool to be transported with only for a very possible single use. The same is valid for a small group of hunters or an individual hunter in the big game regions. It was suitable for them to elaborate on the spot choppers and blades.
Interpreting their capabilities with the same, presently in the literature given and promoted mental capacity arguments, actually implies that they should have possessed higher cognitive capabilities than the hand axe users, shielded in larger groups, with more »leisure life« in the game abundant regions. This is just the opposite to the present interpretations, which granted them, due to the absence of hand axes or the seemingly lesser axe quality from our perspective, only limited cognitive capabilities. They actually used just the necessary tools and did not waste the time and energy to work out unnecessary and for their daily life unpractical objects. This proves that they had actually the higher cognitive capability than the hand axe users ... this proves the Movius line and not the contrary!
The emerging language vastly increased the individual survival chances as well as that of the whole group and accelerated the evolution of the human anatomy, the human mental capabilities and the human society. Thus the language emerged as a part of the survival strategy in the hominin evolution. As already stated, the accommodation and adaptation to the hunting essentially determined hominin evolution and so the emergence of a language was one the main results. This conclusion is the most important consequence of the M. Alinei’s discovery, the fact that the geographic distribution of the currently extant (modern) language types corresponds to the geographic distribution of the three earliest types of lithic tools – the Movius line – both due to the hunting techniques of the hominins.
Among the constraints which essentially shaped this evolution were the properties of sound and its spreading. The lower tones spread less directional, spread over longer distances, reflect less and they »go around« the corners (diffraction), the higher tones are more damped with the distance, spread less, are more directional, and they more readily reflect.
The small game hunters had to locate the prey undiscovered, they had to stalk and to pursue it undiscovered, even if they had to coordinate their actions with the fellow hunters. They used for communication, usually over short distances, the high pitch, low intensity and very short duration sounds, the source of which the prey could not properly interpret and locate – so emerged the click language. They lived, as also our contemporary click language speakers live, in a very, for our notions, dire and hostile environments. But the small group of hunters was mostly bound and capable only to hunt the small game in any environment. The more abundant catch, or new food sources not related to hunt, causing the population growth, the further social and communication evolution, modified the click language probably directly to the isolation type of language.
If the game on disposal started to be medium game, preferably the herds of highly mobile grazers, gradually the click language changed to be heard and precisely understood over greater distances in an open landscape. But it had to be adapted to the more physically exhausting hunt – to find and locate the prey, to stalk it, to pursuit it over the greater distances, to attack it coordinated and be successful at first strike. The »clicks« changed to voiced to be heard and the more strategic notions had to be expressed as the combination of voiced clicks – the words – in the last consequence the agglutination language emerged. The animal husbandry and the herding accelerated this change. It is even possible that an already extant flexing language got along with the change to this hunting technique or to the herding the agglutination characteristics. The speakers of languages of this type are mostly nomadic shepherd nations.
The lower tone and extended sounds were to be used to be heard in the forest, or, partially over with tree and bush overgrown area. The big game hunters chased loudly and yelling the game in the ambush or trap over the relatively short distances. The sounds had to be therefore more elaborate and varied to be distinguished for the precise coordination. The sound variations and combinations led, as well as the social life in larger groups in the last consequence to the flexing languages.
In this manner the click languages, probably over some intermediate forms, especially due to the needs of the generally common understanding in the more numerous populations in various environments, transformed preferentially in the other types of languages.
As a matter of fact, the stone tool types and their correspondence to the language types prove that the different ability or capability to produce the stone tool of a given type and quality do not correspond to the allegedly different intellectual capabilities of the native language speakers.
The population dispersal, the bottleneck situations, the game and the hunting technique changes, the social evolution, the environment, the animal husbandry and the farming shaped the further varieties of language characteristics.
The migration »out of Africa« lasted several thousands of years as it can be concluded from the uncertainty and variability of the corresponding dating and the various routes taken. The fact is that the isolating and agglutinating types of languages are geographically distributed on the most distant locations reached on these routes. Therefore at least the earliest migrants were very probably the speakers of languages closely related to the click languages. The language variability was inevitable due to the relatively great time intervals and different routs between the migrations of various groups. These groups were, as well known, genetically closely related, the descendants of the survivals of some bottleneck event in Africa. Very probably it was an event on the migration from the southeast Africa to the regions north of the emerging Sahara.
According to the environmental constraints, necessities of various hunting techniques, hunter group sizes, this variability emerged naturally already in Africa. The common origin of languages from the (closely related) click language(s) should have been then evident from the grouping in nostratic protolanguages, which beard the seeds for the recent language type divisions, obviously already in the extant groups of the related languages – as for example IE languages etc., which formed later in the new homeland.
The language change – the language evolution in linguistic sense – is very slow in the small groups, but accelerated with the population growth. This is probably the reason, that the »out of Africa« migrants, the speakers of closely related languages, retained the properties of click languages for a long time period and that the major changes emerged relatively late – compared to the eons of the whole evolution past of the Homo, and as well as to the apparent proximity, but actual remoteness of the »out of Africa« events – especially due to the development of animal husbandry and farming, which contributed substantially to the population growth.
From the technical point of view, there is no difference, no sharp demarcation, between the ability of signal exchange and the ability of a communication with the language in the linguistic sense. This is clear also from the biological, the evolutionary standpoint.
The evolution of the hominin capabilities to speak, to analyse the sound – to store, to retrieve, to process the information and to convey it, was a feedback process of the emerging language.
The parts of anatomy, which enable to use the language, are the »information processing system«, the »communication equipment« with the »data emission and acquisition system«. These all systems are the result of the evolutionary adaptation of the »primitive«, less capable already extant »information processing systems« of the early primates, actually already present also in almost all higher evolved predecessor beings of the modern homo. They are from the physical standpoint dissipative structures - systems with the highly organized and variable material structures supported and caused by the organized flows of energy and matter. They are the result of the selforganization in system.
These biologic »information processing systems«, as the dissipative structures, behave according to the natural laws and are therefore essentially logical in their nature.
They were so predestined to handle and to process the information. Only their complexity and size are the limiting factor to the complexity and to the amount of the nformation data processed. Therefore is the emergence of language a fact, a natural consequence of the capabilities of any information processing systems. The language did not evolve, but the capabilities, the anatomy to use it, did. Therefore is the data processing – the Chomsky's universal grammar – innate, as it is the natural logic of the data processing.
The thought, the current active information processed in the brain, is represented by combination of symbols, which are combinations of signals – and they are represented on the lowest level with the combination of the nerve impulse trains. These are transmitted over with their synapses connected and so communicating nerve cells. Therefore is the coding of the same or identical information entityfrom one brain to another brain different due to the biologic variability – it is »private« to any individual brain – therefore also individual for every member of the same species and confirms the language of thought hypothesis. The »private« grammar represents the individual expression of the universal grammar – and the universal logic rules – for each individual nerve system. To this individuality or »privatization« contributes also the biologic variability of the »data acquisition system« from one individual to another individual. It has to be emphasized that this fact is not to be misused for any form of racism – the biologic differences meant are the differences as we know them when we discern one neighbour from the other, friend from alien, brother from brother and sister from sister ...
The conscious learning process replaces in the social group the »private« with »public« symbols and the »public« grammar. These are then the »common public« symbols and the »common public« grammar, that enable the information exchange between the individuals, as each individual in the given social group may understand them.
It is obvious, that the plethora of the human languages is basically due to the biologic variability of the human anatomy, its evolution, and the different environmental constraints, demanding the various survival strategies of the hominin groups in various environments. The national languages in linguistic sense are the »public« symbols and the »public« grammar being actually the »private« symbols and »private« grammar of the various human groups or societies identified as the nations.
The click language, as the primary emerging language, its later variations and changes were formed according to the properties of the physics of the sound spreading and the constraints of well defined hunting techniques. This imposed also the rules on the primary glottogenesis. The probable primary variability of words was shaped due to the biologic variability between individuals and between the social groups, but the words were not arbitrary chosen or build. Even nowadays exist words, which show a meaning, clearly vocally, optically or otherwise sensually, related to the object named.
The glottogenesis is only apparently arbitrary as the sounds change due to the variable anatomy of the vocal tract, the environmental constraints and the social interactions – the sequence of changes in the last consequence leading to the seemingly arbitrary, from the nature of the objects named seemingly independently, generated words.
To trace these changes, to retrieve the primary word is a formidable task and probably possible only for a small number of words with a credible certainty.
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The appearance and the disappearance of technological modes compared to the currently proposed human evolution tree with the corresponding geographic distribution. The numbers correspond to the modes classified by the shape and knapping technology (above). The approximate time intervals of the use of the first 3 modes are given with the lines on the top of diagram and are not to be related to the right geographic distribution axis. Adapted from 9.
The distribution of the three lithic tools corresponds with the areal distribution of the three world types of language, namely isolating IS with choppers, inflecting (or fusional) FU with bifacial hand axes and agglutinative AG with flakes or blades. Isolating languages are symbolically depicted with black dots, the brushed areas: in Africa the funds of hand axes outside the region of Afro Asiatic FU languages, in Asia choppers and blades in the region of AG languages. The present Indo-European FU languages reach in Europe over the Movius line to the north. Adapted from 16, highly schematic and symbolic.
Three-dimensional allocation of the sound source direction: The arrows show the direction of the spreading sound. The listeners A and B are not capable to resolve the direction – for A is the sound pulse, which may consist of the various tones (noise burst) to short to be resolved (time resolution in humans ~ 2ms), for B is the wavelength (L1 >> 4 m) to long to be efficiently phase analysed (diffraction) or to be heard. The listeners C and D are capable to resolve the direction – the C resolves by phase difference of the incoming wave between the ears (in humans the most efficient from ~100Hz to 1.5 kHz, L2 from ~0.2 to 3.5 m), the D by higher frequencies, shorter wavelengths (L3 << 0.2 m), more as the sound intensity difference between ears. The sound shadow is just illustrated, and it diminishes strongly with the distance and wavelength due to the diffraction. Schematic, not to scale. Adapted from 41 and 42.
The schematic interdependence of the game type, vegetation region, stone tool types, hunter group size, the acoustics of vocal communication in hunt - low tones perceived over long ranges with high direction resolution at sufficient sound duration, high tones perceived mostly over short ranges with low direction resolution at short sound duration, the change of the click language type in other types due to the changes in the hunting technique, animal domestication and farming with the population dynamics – dispersal at growth, bottle neck effect at shrinking. Highly simplified and schematic, not to scale.