Re: Human Language. (long post)

Michael McBroom (
Thu, 02 Jan 1997 21:23:05 -0500

Thomas Clarke wrote:

> > > >Every time you swallow a mouthful of food, or gulp down a mouthful of
> > > >liquid, you run the risk of choking. Every other mammal in existence
> > > >has the "standard plan" vocal tract
> > > Be careful here. Aquatic mammals do not have the standard vocal tract
> > > plan. But I don't want to open that contentious topic in this
> > > thread.

Neither do I. The previous email I sent to you (not posted here) was a
bit gruff for this very reason.

> > ... I'll wager that otters, beavers, seals,
> > sea lions, walruses, dugongs, and manatees (did I leave any out?) all
> > use the standard plan vocal tract.
> With regard to the vocal tract, I guess you have not come
> across the writings of Elain Morgan, (_The Aquatic Ape_,
> _The Scars of Evolution_, a couple of other books).

Don't wanna talk about her or AAH in this thread. Sorry.

> The aquatic ape hypothesis (AAH for short) has been extensively
> debated on sci.anthropology.paleo. Much flammage was involved.
> It seems that since Elaine Morgan is not a real paleontologist
> (she is a journalist given to hyperbole and rhetoric) many
> find her ideas difficult.

Me too. So, I don't wish to become sidetracked by them.


Michael McBroom
CSUF Linguistics