Coevolutionary Investments in Human Speech and Trade
We propose a novel explanation for the emergence of language in modern humans, and the lack thereof in other hominids. A coevolutionary process, where trade facilitates speech and speech facilitates trade, driven by expectations and potentially influenced by geography, gives rise to multiple stable development trajectories. While the trade-speech equilibrium is not an inevitable outcome for modern humans, we do find that it is a relatively likely result given that our species evolved in Africa under climatic conditions supporting relatively high population densities.
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