Re: Early Hominid Language

Jacques Guy (
18 May 1995 15:53:16 +1000

iboothby@Direct.CA (Iboothby) writes:

> There have been a dozens of studies done suggesting that Australio's,
>early homo, and Neanderthals couldn't communicate as well vocally
>as we do. Fossil evidence suggests that their palletes were too flat and
>their jaws were the wrong shape to communicate with the same
>vocal richness. As far as we know Homo Sapiens was the only member of
>our species who could do so.

Another piece. The argument is that, given the probably shape of their
vocal tracts, they could not articulate "stable" vowels. When you
delve into what the proponents of this theory mean, "stable" vowels
are the cardinal vowels [a], [i], [u]. So what? Not only you do
not need "stable" vowels for a spoken language, but you don't need
vowels at all (Bella Coola does very nicely, thank you very much,
with senetences which are nothing but long strings of consonants
with an odd vowel here and there). And even if you insist on
vowels, a vowel system consisting of one single vowel (count
them: ONE) will do, too. SInce the system has only one vowel,
you can articulate it any old way you like. And your vowel
system, with your lone anything vowel, will carry as much functional
load as the five vowels of Hawaiian if you just have... 5 tones!
And more if you contrast short, medium, and long. One single
vowel, five tones, three vowels lengths, that's already 15
contrasting vowels, a system richer than English.

Those "dozens of studies" are so many crocks of shit that stink
to high heaven.