Styles of Communication, Vol 5, No 1 (2013)

On LinguisticAspects of the Self from the Perspective of Selected Scientific Hypotheses – A Contribution to the Proposal of How to Explain the Emergence of Human Language

Elżbieta Magdalena Wąsik


This paper departs from the argumentation that it is possible to conclude about the evolutionary stages of languages, including the emergence of protolanguage(s), not only by making use of linguistic facts but also by paying attention to the linguistic abilities of their producers, i.e., respectively, language doers, language speakers and language knowers. In reality, the understanding of the human faculty of speech, realized in cognition and communication, can serve as a valuable clue for the explanation of the rise of various individual languages, which have contributed to the growth of multilingualism in the world. Emphasizing the importance of the reflexive nature of human selves as a prerequisite to the appearance of language, the paper discusses selected hypotheses put forward by three Polish scientists Włodzimierz Sedlak, Jan Trąbka, and Bernard Korzeniewski, who deal with physical aspects or correlates of verbal means of communication. On the basis of empirical data provided by them as well as their hypothetical reasoning, it is argued that language and other systems of social symbols, which people use for communicating and understanding each other, could emerge just then when the physical and physiological processes occurring in the human brain/body had led to the growth of subjective consciousness. In that case only, as asserted by representatives of natural sciences in question, the development of thinking and speaking activities, which had proceeded with the involvement of language, must have taken place along with some psychological processes at the individual level.


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