â€œThe conventional view,â€ Dunbar notes in his book â€œGrooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language,â€ â€œis that language evolved to enable males to do things like coordinate hunts more effectively. . . . I am suggesting that language evolved to allow us to gossip.â€
Reading this account of Williams syndrome (a genetic disability) in the NY Times & the light it sheds on the details of primate social evolution, especially language, I was struck by the fact that it does not differ all that much from Freud's account of the dynamics of the "primal horde" at the beginning of Civilization & its Discontents.