THEORIES ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF LANGUAGE
One does not usually think of speaking as similar to Chewing, Licking and Sucking, (see the above following quotation by MacNeilage) but, like Speaking, all of these actions involve movements of the mouth, tongue and lips in some kind of controlled way. So, perhaps this connection is not as improbable as it first sounds. It is an example of the type of observation that can lead to interesting speculations (the act of forming opinions about what has happened or what might happen without knowing all the facts) about the origins of spoken language. They remain, however, speculations, not facts. One simply does not know how language originated. One suspects that some type of spoken language developed between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, well before written language (about 5,000 years ago). Yet, among the traces of earlier periods of life on earth, one never finds any direct evidence or artefacts relating to the speech of one’s distant ancestors (a person in one’s family who lived a long time ago) that might tell anyone how language was back in the early stages. Perhaps because of this absence of direct physical evidence, there has been no shortage of speculation about the origins of human speech.