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2). Curare paralyzes the muscles of the body completely, including the pharyngeal (throat) muscles that Watson believed were critical for thought processes. About four minutes after the curare injection was completed, the research volunteer lost the ability to speak because his throat muscles could no longer move. Despite the loss of speech, the volunteer could still perceive everything that was happening around him. After he recovered, the volunteer reported that he was “clear as a bell” during the entire time he was paralyzed.

One of the most basic questions that we might like to answer is: Why do humans have language? That question motivates research on the emergence of language abilities in the human evolutionary line as well as research on the language abilities of non-human animals. Figuring out how language abilities developed in the human evolutionary line requires us to analyze the language abilities of ancestors long dead. We need to understand how we are similar to and different from evolutionary ancestors in terms of both language and non-language characteristics.

On this account, big brain comes first and language emerges later. This hypothesis leaves a number of questions 7/25/2011 8:37:37 PM An Introduction to Language Science 16 unanswered, however, such as, what was that big brain doing before language emerged? If the answer is “not that much,” then why was large brain size maintained in the species (especially when you consider that the brain demands a huge proportion of the body’s resources)? And if language is an optional feature of big, sapiens brains, why is it a universal characteristic among all living humans?

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