We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
Article |

A New Theory Concerning the Origin of Speech

Ashley Montagu, PhD
JAMA. 1963;185(13):1017-1018. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060130035010.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


THEORIES concerning the origin of speech are as thick as the autumnal leaves that strew the banks in Vallombrosa—and as ephemeral. Much ingenuity has been spent in the attempt to reconstruct the conditions under which that most remarkable of all man's faculties, speech, originated, but always with indifferent success. This failure by no means constitutes a reflection upon those who have tried, for the truth is that the necessary data upon the basis of which an adequate theory of speech could be erected were simply not available until very recently. With this advantage on my side I here propose a theory of the origin of speech which, I believe, probably corresponds more closely with the actual genesis of speech than any other theory hitherto offered.

Before proceeding with my own theory, it would perhaps be of interest to the reader to have a brief exposition of the theories of the origin of speech hitherto offered. These are not unamusing. They are as follows:


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.