field of study dedicated to understanding how humans communicate

The evolution of human communication took place over a long period of time from simple hand gestures to the use of spoken language

"chimpanzees are humans' closest relatives, but they are unable to produce speech. Chimpanzees are the closest living species to humans. Chimpanzees are closer to humans, in genetic and evolutionary terms, than they are to gorillas or other apes. The fact that a chimpanzee will not acquire speech, even when raised in a human home with all the environmental input of a normal human child, is one of the central puzzles we face when contemplating the biology of our species"