Emory hosts international conference exploring the evolution of language — from tools

Prominent researchers from around the globe will visit Emory University this month to discuss how the handiwork needed by our stone-age ancestors to develop tools may have paved the way for language. Anthropology professor Dietrich Stout, who incorporates neuroscience into his research on Paleolithic tool-making, says the half-day “From Tools and Gestures to the Language Ready Brain” event on April 12 is designed to advance discussion on just where language comes from. “Many people think that before spoken language, we communicated with gestures,” says Stout, who organized the conference. “Of course, we also know that our ancestors used their hands to make tools. Much of my research has focused on how these facts might be related to each other, and whether the pressures of learning to make more and more…


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