The evolutionary emergence of language in the human species has been a subject of speculation for several centuries the topic is difficult to study because of the lack of direct evidence consequently scholars wishing to study the origins of language must draw inferences from other kinds of evidence such as the fossil record archaeological evidence contemporary language diversity studies . Background although related to the more general problem of the origin of language the evolution of distinctively human speech capacities has become a distinct and in many ways separate area of scientific research the topic is a separate one because language is not necessarily spoken it can equally be written or signedspeech is in this sense optional although it is the default modality . Oxford scholarship online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. Womens string figure depicting menstrual blood of three women illustrating the yolngu peoples tribal mythology of menstrual synchrony arnhem land r383 we yolungu are a jealous people and have been since the days we lived in the bush in clans
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