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article imageHuman language in eco-region concept

By Fatik Baran Mandal     Dec 4, 2010 in World
Modern human is believed to be originated about 160,000 years ago. The simplification of human linguistic diversity is represented by the term, “monoculture of the mind”. Out of 7,000 languages, 80-85 percent is spoken by indigenous peoples.
Modern human is believed to be originated about 160,000 years ago in East Africa. Mega-droughts in East Africa, between 135 and 75 thousand years ago have caused human migration out of Africa. India civilization, being an ancient one, now includes 532 tribes, 72 primitive tribes and 36 hunters and gatherers. Human language might have originated from gestures rather than vocalizations.The anatomical and neural changes necessary for the production of articulate sounds probably have occurred late in human evolution, with the ability to sustain autonomous speech development only after emergence of Homo sapiens, about 200,000 years ago.
Armstrong and Wilcox support this claim by referring to evidence that the FOXP2 gene, involved in vocal articulation have undergone a mutation within the past 100,000 to 200,000 years, a final, crucial step in the evolution of human language. This evolution would have been aided by the increase in brain size in response to the enhanced dependence on cooperation and social communication due to drastic ecological changes in the Pleistocene era.
Local societies, whether indigenous peoples or rural communities, and other small-scale societies, co-evolved with the ecosystems, in which they lived. By nurturing the environments, they nurtured them.
A total of 895 eco-regions have so far been identified, of which the WWF estimates 238 (referred to as the Global 200) have outstanding international importance as about 4675 linguistic groups reside in these eco-regions. Approximately half of all spoken languages are used by communities of 10.000 speakers.
The trend towards the simplification of human linguistic diversity and cultural uniformity has been represented by the term, “monoculture of the mind”.
Some 420 languages are known as extinct. UNESCO in 2002 estimated that at least 3,000 languages are endangered in various parts of the world, and up to 90 percent of the word’s languages in the course of 100 years would be extinct. Out of 7,000 languages spoken today, 80-85 percent is spoken by indigenous peoples. Most languages are spoken by very small communities. Their languages are threatened to replacement by majority languages.
As rapid cultural and linguistic change takes place, the "inextricable link" between people and the environment begins to break down. A number of initiatives to sustain and restore biocultural diversity ,for example, Terralingua has gathered information about several of them in the volume “Biocultural Diversity Conservation: A Global Sourcebook (Earthscan, 2010) (Related posts: Restoring human cultures to the web of life and Talking to the clouds and listening to the trees).
Further information is available in www.sott.net., www.unescco.org.,www.nationalgeographic.com
More about Human language, Eco-region, Indigenous people
 
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