A report in the telegraph by Hayley Dixon could perhaps contextualize what I want to achieve. The report stated the widely recognized principle that humans especially children learn new words based from what they hear others use them in conversations. Dixon revealed that experts are now thinking the capability to learn language and acquire new vocabulary may be severely hampered as children increasingly learn through devices such as Ipads. Would children exposed to these technological devices create new vocabularies by imitating sounds from them?
I intend to support my position in this mini-research through several arguments. First, I would like to explain and establish the role of vocal imitation in human language development as well as its genetic and biological explanations. Why is this crucial in the origin of our language? I hope to draw a parallel between this area and a potential of radical language change in the future through vocal imitation.
I will also support my argument with an analysis of new vocabularies based on vocal imitations. For example, there are the cases of untz, wub and beep. These are new words derived from the human imitation of sounds. For further support, I could also discuss in this context the incidence of “mesofact” or the way meaning changes for words over time
Finally, I would like to devote an important part of my work to the links between vocal imitation, adaptation, human sociality and their role in the future of human language. I would like to confine this within a discourse using technology as a control point. The technology variable is accepted to be increasingly eroding our oral traditions, specifically; the passing of knowledge with the now limited opportunity to hear wide range of words (Hayley). I will answer how - with our new-found incapability to hear and learn new words - could vocal imitation fill the gap