Sign systems: The dawn of earliest mankind

Semiotica 2019 (229):41-54 (2019)

The early Pleistocene hunt scene was instant: when an antelope jerked in the water edge, the first “drivers” of the hunt were already in motion; the moment of outburst after a long ambush lasted less than second. The sudden hunt movements were typical of every prey-abundant landscape since even earlier geological periods. The analysis of Laetoli footprints made by our evolutionary ancestors more than three millions years ago indicates that in a randomly chosen moment, the landscape was full of animals of different species. The language used in the attack moment has to be agitative, only vowels in clausure between two consonants. During the process of further development, those consonants became more and more similar to delimitators, the borders where intrasemiotic realities translate extrasemiotic environment. Speech is an old Paleolithic tool for directing hunters to the useful positions. It was rather an instrument of a leader than grooming “clicks” of kin’s females.
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DOI 10.1515/sem-2018-0006
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