Makes sense to me that the written language is NOT a requirement for being human. Writing is learned behavior, like so many, that needs time and practice, practice, practice to be used in any sort of understandable manner.
I agree that dependence on symbolic (word) language sets modern humans apart from ancestral hominids, but does that dependence constitute a “new” species?
Some thoughts on what this implies or reveals:
1. The “language ready” infant brain, if healthy, is also “vision ready” “movement ready” “hearing ready” “odor ready” “digestion ready” – a number of physical states and abilities must be developed in childhood through learning and practice, or be acquired from the environment, such as establishing gut bacteria for digestion or immunity to disease from the mother. This is not exclusive to humans. Animals have varying ratios of instinctual / learned behavior.
2. The brain has been established as a plastic organ, in which neural connections and pathways – “circuits” must be established, and indeed, learning language is one means to change / construct the brain, along with hand-eye operations, exercise, movement, balance and exposure to new and novel objects and environments. (Just about everything is new and novel for an infant!) Stimulation…
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