It is a very old question and the answer was man is a speaking animal. We studied this from the classic texts of philosophy as the definition of ‘human being’ (الإنسان حيوان ناطق).
World renowned linguist and intelligentsia Noam Chomsky has the same answer to that old question! He says “Right. What are humans? One distinctive feature about humans is the language capacity. It’s central for our present existence and it doesn’t seem to have anything analogous or homologous to other organisms. It seems unique to the human species, it’s essential and it’s also uniform across the species” (http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/1992/chomsky-0401.html)
As information scientist Werner Gitt observed in his fascinating book, The Wonder of Man: ‘Only man has the gift of speech, a characteristic otherwise only possessed by God. This separates us clearly from the animal kingdom … In addition to the necessary “software” for speech; we have also been provided with the required “hardware”.*
Jean Aitchison noted:
‘In 1866, a ban on the topic was incorporated into the founding statutes of the Linguistic Society of Paris, perhaps the foremost academic linguistic institution of the time: ‘The Society does not accept papers on either the origin of language or the invention of a universal language.
Famous Evolutionist, John Mc Crone, says:
‘It all started with an ape that learned to speak. Man’s hominid ancestors were doing well enough, even though the world had slipped into the cold grip of the ice ages. But “How did that first ape learn to speak? He couldn’t answer. This is a clear admission of defeat because to answer is to admit the existence of God*.
Even Mr. Chomsky has no answer! ‘Very few people are concerned with the origin of language because most consider it a hopeless question’, however ,he adds, “You can find people right on this campus who think it’s a very answerable question.”
Yes, the fact is that the one, who designed the human being with all its wonders, provided him with necessary hardware and software and taught him how to run this application.
By the age of six, the average child has learned to use and understand about 13,000 words; by eighteen it will have a working vocabulary of 60,000 words. That means it has been learning an average of ten new words a day since its first birthday, the equivalent of a new word every 90 minutes of its waking life
In order to speak a word that has been read,
information is obtained from the eyes and travels to the visual cortex. From the primary visual cortex, information is transmitted to the posterior speech area (which includes Wernicke’s area). From there, information travels to Broca’s area, and then to the to provide the necessary muscle contractions to produce the sound*
Holy Quran said.
وعلم ادم الأسماء كلها – البقرة 31 ” And He taught Adam all the names” (2- 31)
So the language is the gift of the God and every human being is owed to Him for every single word he utters even if he speaks against the God!
The almighty God Allah reminds the mankind about this obligation and the importance of this wonderful gift by revealing the very first verse in the Holy Quran,
i.e. (اقرأ بسم ربك الذي خلق) “Read in the name of your Lord Who created” 96- 1.
Thank You My Lord, for all Your Benevolence.
* : http://www.trueorigin.org