The Mother Tongue - Chapter 2 The Dawn of Language Summary & Analysis

Bill Bryson
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Chapter 2 The Dawn of Language Summary and Analysis

Bryson draws on archaeological evidence to show the development of human speech. The difference between Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal is reduced to the place of the larynx, or voice box, in the throat. The larynx of the species that eventually became human beings was deeper in the throat, allowing Cro-Magnon people to have a wider range of sounds to use in developing a spoken language. The Neanderthals were unable to keep up with the Cro-Magnons because they were unable to communicate on the same level of complexity.

Building on the foundations of language, human speech spread throughout the world. In many cases, languages are clearly related to one another, but sometimes the differences between languages bring up interesting questions about their origins and place within the human story. Many of the related languages...

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This section contains 668 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mother Tongue Study Guide
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