This NPR article is absolutely, absolutely amazing. Language is fascinating. Learning Language is fascinating. Well, just read this, see what you make of it: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5503685
My good friend, Sara Rapp, opened my eyes to the fact that today with an organization known as the The Great Ape Trust, Bonobo apes are communicating to and with humans. Apes are moving toward being able to express feelings, to live in the world of people. Is this a sign of apes’ intelligence? The possibility for modern evolution? The genius of human instruction? Whatever it is, as Noam Chomsky has said, language is at the core of what it means to be human, and that no other animals can acquire our sophisticated grammar. There is no proof that these apes have syntax (although they do seem to get word order correct), but who’s to say what will happen if mother apes continue to teach their children this use of language?
I know I’ll be waiting with baited breath.