Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 11:50:27 +0100
To: Evolution of Language 
Subject: Re: EvolLang: Basic Question:

> From: "Lawrence"
> >From: "H.M."
> >
> > Ok. We are not sure how complicated a maneuver a person
> > could plan for himself without language. One thing for sure,
> > a group would be able to plan much more complex plans
> > with language than without.
> I think the converse is true.  When we take the linguistic tool away
> from the group and use it to develop- in solitarty reflection and
> analysis- a model of the envirnment we are pretty skillful.  When you
> put the same people together in a group they start argueing about
> something as silly as whether chimps and bonobs are one or two species.
> Group action seems to be 'mindless' in direct proportion to the number
> in the group.  Actually, I suspect someting more like a n*(n-1)
> relationship where every sentance is evaluated in the context of all
> dyads in the group.
Let's not forget that lions, hyenas, killer whales, and some other non-humans mount strategically pretty complex collective hunting operations. That more intelligence and a more sophisticated system of signalization would be conductive to greater group planning skills in this is perhaps obvious. Not obvious is, I find, that this would per se require a human language type of sophistication of the system of signalization. For, if that were the case, and particularly if that were to be the principal moving force behind the development of human language, then the main distinctions of this latter as compared to animal signalization should demonstratably derive from that circumstance.