Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: clan of the cave bear conlang

From:Ed Heil <edheil@...>
Date:Monday, January 10, 2000, 21:50
Even today, quadrupeds (or part-time quadrupeds, like apes) cannot
control their breathing, because they need to have their lungs
inflated to stiffen the thorax when using their front legs/arms to
locomote.  All quadruped breathing is perfectly timed to coordinate
with locomotion.

For this reason, it is not possible, for purely mechanical reasons,
for an ape to talk using a modulated stream of breath, the way we do.

I guess similar considerations might enter into Neanderthal speech,
but I don't know.


Nik Taylor wrote:

> Paul&Kathy wrote: > > H. neanderthalenis (?) would probably not have had as good breath > > control as later species (all control from the diaphram (sp?), > > nothing from the pharynx or larynx). Utterances are likely to have > > been very short, probably stress, tone and tenseness (and poss. > > length?) would not have been phonemic. Also, they'd have been > > fairly strictly timed to the natural breath rhythm. > > How could they know whether or not that's so? What clues would there be > as to how finely they could control their breathing? > > -- > "Old linguists never die - they just come to voiceless stops." - > anonymous > > > ICQ: 18656696 > AIM Screen-Name: NikTailor