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Re: Some questions on phonology

From:John Vertical <johnvertical@...>
Date:Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 22:05
On Mon, 13 Oct 2008 14:50:50 -0400, Carl Banks wrote:
>Falcata Lusa wrote: >> If we could go back in time and see (and hear) the first speaking hominids, >> what do you think their sounds could be like? > >Quack, woof, howl, tweet, hiss, etc.
>What kind of animals lived in Europe back then that people might >imitate? Those are probably the sounds they'd use. Keep in mind the >climate in Europe at that time was much colder.
I believe you missed one major animal group of the area from your list: the hominids :) When discussing the origins of language, there commonly seems to be some kind of an assumption that before the advent of speech, humans didn't vocalize anything. But take one look at chimpanzees, and they certainly seem to still use their larynxes a lot... who's to say that "pre-language" didn't develop alongside ancestral warning calls & the like, heck, those could've even serv'd as fodder for emerging linguistic evolution. I gess the thought may remind a bit too much of stereotypical Cavemanese (ooga booga nom-nom aargh!), but why would humans need to have ever been the, to hijack a comment from the Proto-Indo-Neanderthal discussion, mammalian counterpart to mockingbirds? John Vertical


Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>
R A Brown <ray@...>