Re: Early Hominid Language

scharle (
18 May 1995 21:32:09 GMT

In article <3pencc$meb@tardis.trl.OZ.AU>, (Jacques Guy) writes:
|> 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
If by "vowel" one means "vocoid", then many languages have
syllables and words without vowels -- for example, in my dialect of
English [r], [n], [l], [m] can work as the nucleus of a syllable, with no
Do you have more information or references on this nature of
Bella Coola?
Excuse me if this is somewhat off-topic for sci.anthropology.paleo,
my attempt at e-mail bounced.

Tom Scharle
Room G003 Computing Center |
University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556-0539 USA