. What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change over time? Why?
My inquiry question was “What are some theories that surround the origin of language?”
As time passed, learned that theorizing is a huge field of study and that literally, anything can be a theory if the theorist had reasons and evidence. I looked into hypotheses and thoughts that modern linguists had, and they were all quite widely different from each other. Some scientists looked into brain development and sense of grammar developing in infants to link the origin while many religious people simply thought that an all-powerful force had just given the gift of language to the human race.
Psychologist and author Michael Corballis thinks that language development is closely related to gesture, which made its advances in humans when evolution progressed enough that humans became bipedal.
This video made me think about an easier way to organize my beliefs. I came down to the evolutionary and religious points of views.
I also realized that I could not determine if a theory is correct or not. Nobody could. I still needed a conclusion, so I decided to incorporate some of my own opinions into the inquiry question. Soon enough, my inquiry question became
“What is the most convincing theory that explains the origin of language?”
2. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?
Like I was planning to, I really had to work on my critical thinking skills. Critical thinking was essential in this inquiry because I was given many, many theories to choose from (to include in my artefact) and I had to come up with reasons for myself why they were feasible and why they made sense to me. For example, if someone says language was formed when people learned to scream in pain after breaking their leg, I would be sceptical about putting that in my artefact when there are other theories with valid points like onomatopoeia.
3. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.
I learned that the origin of language dates back very far in two types of lenses. The evolutionary and the religious. There is a passage in Genesis 2:20 in the Christian bible saying that Adam, the first human named all living organisms on earth in Hebrew. This means that language was simply given to Adam along with his birth from the beginning.
Whereas in the evolutionary lens, there are a wide variety of hypotheses that all incorporate linguistics and logic. Onomatopoeia, the Pooh Pooh hypothesis, the warming hypothesis, and other hypothesis talks about humans learning to use their voice to make noises that ultimately developed into the language at one point.
4. In what ways does your final learning artefact demonstrate your learning/answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies?
My learning artefact is a video. This artefact is a crash course that informs the viewer about some of the theories out there explaining the origin of language and why I believe in one out of all of them. Critical thinking is required to narrow down to a certain theory out of many. After the video, I intend to communicate and debate with the viewer on my belief and their belief in these theories, developing the communication and self-identity competency.
These core competencies allowed me to branch out and work on my curricular competencies as well. By creating an opinionated video on a subjective topic, I thought critically, creatively, and reflectively to explore ideas within, between, and beyond the text. To Make sure there was the least bias involved, I expressed support of my own opinions with evidence from different lens usage in the video.
5. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 response as to was important to your learning).
(Gleneagle database link)
-go to literary references, and then search “Origin of Language”
-Click on academic journal titled “On the origin of language”
On the Origin of Language, Halpern, Mark. Vocabula Review, Jul2011, Vol. 13 Issue 7, p1-15, 15p. (Article)
Abstract: The article discusses the origin and historical development of language.
Above is an article from the Gleneagle Database that talks about the origin of language. Note how the article depicts the topic’s answer/end as “an end without conclusion”.
Really useful resource:
The linguistic society of the USA has a little different input on the origins of language. They talk about gene mutations and whatnot, it’s worthwhile to look into.
Another resource I found:
6. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?
I am wondering about language diversity after now that I know about language origin. How did different languages stem away from each other? Why does Spanish exisist when English is here? The following infographic stemmed my curiosity.