Which one came first, Language or Culture? Does it take a culture to create the language, or does it take a language to form a culture? In order to identify the answers to these questions, we have to know exactly what each of these are, so let us first find out ‘what is language,’ and ‘what is culture?’
Merriam-Webster.com states language as: “the words, their pronunciation, and the methods of combining them used and understood by a community.” Dictionary.com says: “The system of linguistic signs or symbols considered in the abstract.” In light, (combining the two) simply means that any form of writing (signs or symbols) or communication (of bodily signs or gestures) composes the entirety of a language.
Culture as defined by Merriam-Webster.com is “the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education.” Culture defined by Dictionary.com is “the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.” These two combined gesture that in order to create a culture, there must be an established education, or learning in several areas of a community or area.
In accordance with having no human records, the earliest human form of communication existed in the Paleolithic Era (Old Stone Age). The time area this era existed was approximately 2,500,000 years ago until about 200,000 years ago (Encyclopedia at Britannica.com). During this time, hunters worked in groups, communicating through gestures, since there are no records of writing and cave carvings. (NewWorldEncyclopedia.org) Think about how hard it would had been to trap and kill a 14-foot tall (at the shoulders) Woolly Mammoth (UnMuseum.org) without the use of bodily gestures, including hand waves, eye contact, pointing, stabbing/jabbing motions and a form of strategy! Doesn't seem as if that were too logical does it? A single person would never have been able to have run enough spears through a mammoth by the time it would've charged, tusk-beaten or stomped the hunter to death.
Two ages later, passing thru the Mesolithic Era (Middle Stone Age) starting about 8,000b.c, (almost 190,000 years later) we see the Neolithic Era. During this time, art, writing (petroglyphs), poetry, painting, music and instruments flourished. Caves were found dating back to this time containing paintings of animals and somewhat rarely depicted semi-human/animals. Stonehenge was a particular milestone in this era. It showed that there were abilities to maintain resources and community to enable such widespread projects. Rocks containing art at this point was also quite new. Cultivation, agriculture and domestication of animals all allowed this time era to thrive, increasing the size of villages based on these traits. Money, land/property owning became part of this flourishing time period; however, property owning was not the only thing happening here; slavery increased as money did.
So here is the basic language-culture theory according to the above information: A culture is a community of people. For a community to exist, people of same or different types need to gather in a particular area. If these people (that are gathered) did not have a language (medium) of interpretation, nothing would be completed, no work would be done, understanding would not be existent and there would be no order. With no order there would be disbanding. Disbanding means no community, no communication, and no culture.
So which came first, language or community? Well, to be very honest, if a community banded without the use of a medium, meaning no: hand gestures, arm motions, finger pointing, drawing, symbols, waving, planning or even speaking, mainly that community would not have lasted very long. So indeed, it is a very well proven fact, that in order to create community, law, money, music, tools, clothing etc, it is very important to have a language, written, etched, drawn or signed, regardless in its context, it is important it is the building block of a culture.