> Bipedalism may well be a purely physiological mechanism. But
> what about language? IMO that's as instinctive as walking
> upright and may well date back just as long. (I have a really
> hard time believing no one spoke until 40,000 years ago. To me,
> the whole idea is ludicrous.)
I agree. It is pretty clear that vocal communication is not even restricted to humans though humans have evolved the brain capacity to take vocalization to the next level of abstraction and symbolization.
Imo, language is the merely the most sophisticated manifestation of communication used by many animals and most assuredly by our ancient ancestors.
Funny, my son's family used to have a little Maltese terrier/poodle cross with a real attitude. Once in a while he would get under foot and you would accidentally step on his paw.
He would respond with a pissed off sounding, sentence-length, "grww-arr-gruff-grrrror.........
You knew exactly what he was saying, lol. "Watch out where you're going you big, fat oaf...."
Or something to that effect.
~Hunter S. Thompson