|Abstract||There was language long before there was writing, a fact that we literate investigators tend to underestimate. Today we are building the information superhighway, and for several millennia the written word has been the primary medium of cultural transmission, but for at least a thousand millennia before that, the main medium of information transfer from generation to generation--standing alongside the genome itself and the information embodied directly in artifacts--was the well-beaten path of word of mouth. Language was already a highly refined biological product, complete with all its modern appurtenances, long before writing was invented|
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