Language is the medium for the transmission of ideas: the vector for meme activity, perhaps. It also appears to be something which differentiates humans from other animals (although perhaps whale-song or even bird-call is more complex than suspected).
In “Human Traces”, Sebastian Faulk suggests (through his characters) that language developed with consciousness; the two are inextricable. Further, he suggests that our ability to abstract (reality is an abstraction) the world and hear the voices of leaders/kings/god are both part of (the main function of?) consciousness.
When we developed writing, he says, we found a way to express language that didn't require us to hallucinate voices – and this is why so-called gods and spirits stopped talking to us. It's a nice idea; it explains how religion could have evolved from a time of prophets and leaders to one of “faith” as a virtue.
I yearn to become a polyglot: to have at least a rudimentary ability in each of the languages listed below:
- Putonghua (普通话)
- Tibetan (ལྷ་སའི་སྐད lha-sa'i skad)
- Latin (at least some useful Latin phrases)
- Japanese / Nihongo / 日本語