Talk 2
Language is a defining factor of our species, Homo sapiens

A recent study has confirmed that the development of language stimulates brain growth. This means that our capacity for language played a significant role in the evolution of our large brains – the two developed side by side. So this begs the question: Is it possible to be human and not have language?

As many people are aware, children are able to learn and adapt to language far easier than adults. If a child grows up in a multilingual community, it will develop a good understanding of the languages – better than if it learns the languages as an adult.

Some say that, no matter how well you speak a language learnt as an adult, it will never connect as deeply with your thoughts and feelings as your mother tongue.

The video below explores the question of what would happen if you did not learn a language as a child. Is it possible to be human and live without language? It seems that the answer is no, for even within this unusual group of disabled people from Nicaragua, late linguistic development came naturally in the right environment.

It should come as no surprise that the “right environment” means a community, relating back to the fact that we are social beings.

As you watch the video you can reflect on the following question: What would you be like if you did not have language?