Is there a language foundation in which all languages are based on or is it the human brain which can only create one certain type of languages? It seems difficult, but let’s discuss about alien languages and languages on planet Earth.
All humans languages are basically the same. If we study them from a formal point of view they all have similarities in their cores. All languages have the concept of a subject, verb, object, adverb, numbers, adjectives etc.
Grammar, which is not more than the rules of the game for a language, varies in its form. Meaning that we combine the existing elements differently in different languages.
What does being similar imply?
If all human languages are so similar, I can only think of two possibilities:
All languages come from the Babel Tower
If a group of humans created one single language when it didn’t exist before, and those groups once separated spread and evolved the language in dialects first, and in different languages secondly is a possibility.
This would agree with the Bible and the myth of the Babel tower, and we have no way to prove it wrong these days. We don’t know about the future but I doubt we’d ever know.
Human brain can only develop once certain type of language
It may be that human brain cannot stand any other language system different from our own. Meaning there might be other language systems in universe if intelligent life exists and can talk, but we would never understand them.
If we could have a chat with an alien, we’d find out whether it was Babel Tower or our own brain.
Who else speak?
Communication is something common to all species. Even flowers communicate with bees. Speaking a language is something different. But we are not the only ones capable of speaking. But then, who else?
I can’t help talking about them, sorry but the Neanderthal in me cannot shut his mouth.
Some experts still claim they could not speak. I think they taught us how to speak the same way they taught us art, religion and handcrafts, which we developed in a better way. But I have no real evidence of this apart from my personal logic.
I also think, and there’s plenty of evidence of that, that modern Sapiens are hybrids of both species. We might have even mixed with Erectus or Homo Predecessor.
I think Homo Neanderthalis would have spoken a very similar language in structure as we do. Not in vain the gene responsible for speaking in animals is the FoxP2, which was found in Neanderthal’s DNA.
As we cannot bring them back to life and have a conversation, we cannot find out either.
The dolphin family is very capable of communicating. Bottlenose dolphins or belugas speak non stop. It seems the communication master among them are the Orcas.
National Geographic even claim they’ve distinguished some cultural features and dialects between them. This is impressive and makes me feel very humble. The only thing that may differ us from them is that we have hands to handcraft and they cannot use tools with their fins. Maybe it’s just that.
But we might be able to understand them one day, and find out what they’re saying and if their sonar system is actually giving messages with a similar grammar to human language.
Even though we might never know if we’d be able to communicate with other species. We can learn that we can therefore communicate in any human language as we already know it.
We only have to learn the new system and the new vocabulary, but if you already speak a human language and you are human, learning chinese or portuguese is quite easy!