Whence Language? The Role of Mothers and Infants

Dean Falk

Membership Lecture, The New Mexico History Museum Auditorium

Thursday, September 18, 2014, 6:30–7:30 pm, Free for SAR members • $10 for nonmembers

Newborn BabyNewborn BabyFinding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants & the Origins of LanguageNewborn BabyFinding Our Tongues: Mothers, Infants & the Origins of Language

Scientists have long theorized that symbolic language emerged prehistorically from abstract thinking used to negotiate classically male activities such as hunting, tool production, and warfare. In this lively talk, evolutionary anthropologist Dean Falk explores evidence that suggests otherwise. Parents the world over speak to infants in a special way—baby talk, musical speech, “motherese”—which helps them acquire their native language. This presentation considers how and why it first appeared in our ancestors and the likely role of prehistoric mothers and infants in the subsequent origin of symbolic language.

For more information on membership at SAR, please contact Jean Schaumberg by calling (505) 954-7245 or by email at schaumberg[at]sarsf.org.

Sponsored by Betty and Luke Vortman Endowment Fund

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