Reblogged from ktwop.
Now research on animal sounds suggests that for some species the sounds they make are not as random as they were originally thought to be. They exhibit levels of complexity which are suggestive of stepping-stones along the long road to grammar and language. Such steps may have assisted humans from moving from sounds and words to context-free grammars and thence to language.
The sequence in humans – I speculate – could have been:
(300KYA) gestures>> sounds>> (smiles, laughter?)>> words>> ..(unknown steps)>> simple grammar>> context-free grammar>> language>> symbols>> abstract symbols>> writing (12KYA)