Discussion:
Looking for some direction
(too old to reply)
Holly
2006-03-11 02:37:53 UTC
Permalink
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?

Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of Chauvet
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?

Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?

I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.

I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Jois
2006-03-11 16:02:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of Chauvet
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?
Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?
I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.
I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Holly, this is probably too many questions for one post. Hopefully people
will answer them in bits and pieces and you can re-ask anything that doesn't
get covered.

Paleoanthro in the Yahoo Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paleoanthro/?yguid=65312941

might be a great group for you to join and re-ask the language question.

It is also helpful to give a line or two of introduction like: Hi, My name
is Holly and I'm a student in New York. I've been reading XXXXX XXXXXX by
so and so and wanted to ask if ____________________________

Jois
Holly
2006-03-11 17:22:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jois
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of Chauvet
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?
Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?
I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.
I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Holly, this is probably too many questions for one post. Hopefully people
will answer them in bits and pieces and you can re-ask anything that doesn't
get covered.
Paleoanthro in the Yahoo Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paleoanthro/?yguid=65312941
might be a great group for you to join and re-ask the language question.
It is also helpful to give a line or two of introduction like: Hi, My name
is Holly and I'm a student in New York. I've been reading XXXXX XXXXXX by
so and so and wanted to ask if ____________________________
Thanks Jois. I am not so easily introduced. I am working on a novel
and believe accurate historical information adds depth to the fiction.
Cross-posting to other groups such as sci.lang and sci.archeology ...
although my inclination, is generally poorly received. One friendly
contributor from sci.lang. did respond to my separate but duplicate
post. Again thanks for your suggestion to use yahoo groups -- I will
follow through on that. Perhaps it's not surprising to you but I am
finding conflicting information as I research the aurignacian culture
during the time of the parietal art in the Chauvet cave. Seems to me,
at this juncture, that fiction is easily at home in this period of homo
sapien history. ;-)
Jois
2006-03-11 17:36:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of Chauvet
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?
Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?
I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.
I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Holly, this is probably too many questions for one post. Hopefully people
will answer them in bits and pieces and you can re-ask anything that doesn't
get covered.
Paleoanthro in the Yahoo Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paleoanthro/?yguid=65312941
might be a great group for you to join and re-ask the language question.
It is also helpful to give a line or two of introduction like: Hi, My name
is Holly and I'm a student in New York. I've been reading XXXXX XXXXXX by
so and so and wanted to ask if ____________________________
Thanks Jois. I am not so easily introduced. I am working on a novel
and believe accurate historical information adds depth to the fiction.
Cross-posting to other groups such as sci.lang and sci.archeology ...
although my inclination, is generally poorly received. One friendly
contributor from sci.lang. did respond to my separate but duplicate
post. Again thanks for your suggestion to use yahoo groups -- I will
follow through on that. Perhaps it's not surprising to you but I am
finding conflicting information as I research the aurignacian culture
during the time of the parietal art in the Chauvet cave. Seems to me,
at this juncture, that fiction is easily at home in this period of homo
sapien history. ;-)
You won't be the first fiction writer in that Yahoo Group so not to worry.
As for the conflicting information, welcome to world of science. Still, if
you find the best info currently available, it beats having spacepersons in
to work while the savages watch.

Jois
Holly
2006-03-11 21:44:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is
there
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
Post by Holly
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of
Chauvet
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
Post by Holly
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?
Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?
I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.
I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Holly, this is probably too many questions for one post. Hopefully
people
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
will answer them in bits and pieces and you can re-ask anything that
doesn't
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
get covered.
Paleoanthro in the Yahoo Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Paleoanthro/?yguid=65312941
might be a great group for you to join and re-ask the language question.
It is also helpful to give a line or two of introduction like: Hi, My
name
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
is Holly and I'm a student in New York. I've been reading XXXXX XXXXXX
by
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
so and so and wanted to ask if ____________________________
Thanks Jois. I am not so easily introduced. I am working on a novel
and believe accurate historical information adds depth to the fiction.
Cross-posting to other groups such as sci.lang and sci.archeology ...
although my inclination, is generally poorly received. One friendly
contributor from sci.lang. did respond to my separate but duplicate
post. Again thanks for your suggestion to use yahoo groups -- I will
follow through on that. Perhaps it's not surprising to you but I am
finding conflicting information as I research the aurignacian culture
during the time of the parietal art in the Chauvet cave. Seems to me,
at this juncture, that fiction is easily at home in this period of homo
sapien history. ;-)
You won't be the first fiction writer in that Yahoo Group so not to worry.
As for the conflicting information, welcome to world of science. Still, if
you find the best info currently available, it beats having spacepersons in
to work while the savages watch.
Jois
Not sure about your reference to "spacepersons" but I assume you
clicked on my profile and saw the kooky company I sometimes keep. If
you are of good humor and tough of hide you may find those
"spacepersons" no more savage than the savage in all our breasts.
Certainly I have reaped a bounty of hardy laughs as a result of those
newsgroups. They have something to say about everything that has
nothing to do with anything.
BTW I have already been accepted to that Yahoo group. Love the piece
about genes to make us dance.
Holly
Jois
2006-03-12 23:23:20 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by Holly
. . . Still, if
you find the best info currently available, it beats having spacepersons in
to work while the savages watch.
Jois
Not sure about your reference to "spacepersons" but I assume you
clicked on my profile and saw the kooky company I sometimes keep. If
you are of good humor and tough of hide you may find those
"spacepersons" no more savage than the savage in all our breasts.
[snip]
Post by Holly
Holly
Nope, just saying that good information is better than having spaceperson
coming down from the sky (in your story) to make changes as needed in your
future story.

Jois
Holly
2006-03-13 00:10:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jois
[snip]
Post by Holly
. . . Still, if
you find the best info currently available, it beats having spacepersons
in
Post by Holly
to work while the savages watch.
Jois
Not sure about your reference to "spacepersons" but I assume you
clicked on my profile and saw the kooky company I sometimes keep. If
you are of good humor and tough of hide you may find those
"spacepersons" no more savage than the savage in all our breasts.
[snip]
Post by Holly
Holly
Nope, just saying that good information is better than having spaceperson
coming down from the sky (in your story) to make changes as needed in your
future story.
Jois
If I were to use a deus ex machina ... it would not be in the form of
spacepersons. But I have not ruled out giant condors. ;-)
Daryl Krupa
2006-03-18 18:20:09 UTC
Permalink
Jois wrote:
<snip>
Post by Jois
Nope, just saying that good information is better than having
spaceperson
coming down from the sky (in your story) to make changes
Jois:
What's your position on big black monoliths?

-
Daryl Krupa
Jois
2006-03-18 19:57:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Jois
Nope, just saying that good information is better than having spaceperson
coming down from the sky (in your story) to make changes
What's your position on big black monoliths?
-
Daryl Krupa
I kinda stand near by and hope the aliens return. I think my Sheltie scares
them away.

I can't believe you still read SAP! Stick around, if I ever catch up on my
reading I may have some excellent questions for you!

Jois
prd
2006-03-19 01:38:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jois
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Jois
Nope, just saying that good information is better than having spaceperson
coming down from the sky (in your story) to make changes
What's your position on big black monoliths?
-
Daryl Krupa
I kinda stand near by and hope the aliens return. I think my
Sheltie scares them away.
I can't believe you still read SAP! Stick around, if I ever
catch up on my reading I may have some excellent questions for
you!
That one is over my head or under, not sure exactly.
Daryl Krupa
2006-03-20 04:06:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jois
Post by Daryl Krupa
What's your position on big black monoliths?
I kinda stand near by and hope the aliens return.
I think my Sheltie scares them away.
With this sort of behaviour?

http://tinyurl.com/k3tzz
Post by Jois
I can't believe you still read SAP! Stick around, if I ever catch up on my
reading I may have some excellent questions for you!
Jois:
"You just call
Outmy name ... "
I monitor Usenet for my name. Just include it with your question(s)
and I'll find it(them).
Or email me.

-
Daryl Krupa
Jois
2006-03-20 05:43:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
Post by Jois
Post by Daryl Krupa
What's your position on big black monoliths?
I kinda stand near by and hope the aliens return.
I think my Sheltie scares them away.
With this sort of behaviour?
http://tinyurl.com/k3tzz
LOL - He just wishes he could!
Post by Daryl Krupa
Post by Jois
I can't believe you still read SAP! Stick around, if I ever catch up on my
reading I may have some excellent questions for you!
"You just call
Outmy name ... "
I monitor Usenet for my name. Just include it with your question(s)
and I'll find it(them).
Or email me.
-
Daryl Krupa
Thank you, that's a deal!

Jois
prd
2006-03-19 01:35:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Jois
Nope, just saying that good information is better than having
spaceperson
coming down from the sky (in your story) to make changes
What's your position on big black monoliths?
Is HAL involved?
Daryl Krupa
2006-03-20 04:10:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by prd
Post by Daryl Krupa
What's your position on big black monoliths?
Is HAL involved?
If I had succumbed to whimsy and written,
Immense Black Monoliths,
then yes;
but as it is,
no, or only in a derivative sense, as
an unintended noxious side-effect of the process;
alternatively, involved as
a bastard pretender to the throne of the Dominion.

-
Daryl Krupa
Chapstick
2006-03-14 01:08:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
<snip rhino question>

chances are better that whatever brain function is required in hss in order
to develop and use language evolved some 200 kya, and has always been
present in our species. These brain structures certainly include Broca's
area, Weirnecke's area and the angular gyrus, as a minimum. "We" can't
really understand to what extent sister species can use or understand
language.. for example, whether or not Koko used lnaguage for real or just
by rote.
The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains.
perhaps a good analogy for you to look at would be the development of
"writing" which merely borrowed existing brain structure for new uses... and
was developed about 6000 BC +/- 2000, in response to some sort of counting
system. those little clay balls that originally had little trangles/circles
of clay inside later just had them stamped on the outside.
so, it is my belief that language was not really dependent upon
onomatopoeia. rather, purely descriptive nouns and verbs were probably first
or early.. ie, "momma' , "daddy" , "finger" , "run", "clamdip", etc... not
unlike what we see in current child development.
while there are invented languages such as esperanto (spelling?), if a
human uses the language and teaches their child, can we really call it
artificial? therefore, being that this is a fictional usage you have in
mind, you are free to use your imagination.
--chap
Holly
2006-03-14 23:26:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chapstick
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
<snip rhino question>
chances are better that whatever brain function is required in hss in order
to develop and use language evolved some 200 kya, and has always been
present in our species. These brain structures certainly include Broca's
area, Weirnecke's area and the angular gyrus, as a minimum. "We" can't
really understand to what extent sister species can use or understand
language.. for example, whether or not Koko used lnaguage for real or just
by rote.
I agree ... only because from the study I have done ... I like ... have
preference for this logical vein of thinking. And it is logical
because it is based on brain size and a very well educated surmise that
35,000 BP homo sapiens had Broca's Area. Wouldn't your cat wish it had
it so good? No more exasperation with Human's seemingly poor
comprehension. ;-)
Post by Chapstick
The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains.
Not sure what your point is here.
Post by Chapstick
perhaps a good analogy for you to look at would be the development of
"writing" which merely borrowed existing brain structure for new uses... and
was developed about 6000 BC +/- 2000, in response to some sort of counting
system. those little clay balls that originally had little trangles/circles
of clay inside later just had them stamped on the outside.
Lost me here as well.
Post by Chapstick
so, it is my belief that language was not really dependent upon
onomatopoeia. rather, purely descriptive nouns and verbs were probably first
or early.. ie, "momma' , "daddy" , "finger" , "run", "clamdip", etc... not
unlike what we see in current child development.
If it weren't onomatopoetic it wouldn't be world wide. Mama (either
for mother or father) ... likewise dada and kaka ... are just some
examples of sounds we find everywhere) Labial sounds are those our
current humans most easily and initially use. The progression has to
do with neurological growth from "hearing" and kinesthetic control.
When I visit a people who speak no English, German or Romance languages
I switch to words that sound like what I am trying to express or I draw
or I gesture ... usually all three ... one rapidly following the other.
Post by Chapstick
while there are invented languages such as esperanto (spelling?), if a
human uses the language and teaches their child, can we really call it
artificial? therefore, being that this is a fictional usage you have in
mind, you are free to use your imagination.
The term "artificial" is merely descriptive since it describes a
language that is contrived, has structure and is deliberate, verses one
that arises without a set structure and without commonly agreed on
terminology (like my gesturing and imitating). Natural language is
something others will understand (generally speaking) no matter where
you go and with whom you speak. Smiles and grimaces and gestures for
example. No doubt I have gotten myself into all kinds of semantic
trouble here.

What have we said here? Fiction is false? I am not of that mind set.
The truer fiction is the better. The beauty of it is that in some
miraculous way fiction can be truer than fact.
Chapstick
2006-03-15 00:52:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Chapstick
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
<snip rhino question>
chances are better that whatever brain function is required in hss in order
to develop and use language evolved some 200 kya, and has always been
present in our species. These brain structures certainly include Broca's
area, Weirnecke's area and the angular gyrus, as a minimum. "We" can't
really understand to what extent sister species can use or understand
language.. for example, whether or not Koko used lnaguage for real or just
by rote.
I agree ... only because from the study I have done ... I like ... have
preference for this logical vein of thinking. And it is logical
because it is based on brain size and a very well educated surmise that
35,000 BP homo sapiens had Broca's Area. Wouldn't your cat wish it had
it so good? No more exasperation with Human's seemingly poor
comprehension. ;-)
Post by Chapstick
The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains.
Not sure what your point is here.
only a minor point.. that our evolution physically was largely complete at
whatever point you/we decide we are hss. many scientists think that was
about 200 kya. i wrote a paper about writing, or the evolution of writing,
exploring the idea of whether or not that involved a physical change in the
brain. apparently not. the brain already possessed all the necessary tools
in order for us to invent/develop/evolve into writing. So it was more of a
"social" change... or cultural if you will... and that is probably also true
of cave paintings. (by the way, wasn't it Carl Sagan that said that writing
is merely a sophisticated memory device? a method for our brains to improve
memory? to improve language storage?... i'll have to check that ref).
so cave painting, probably a little bit analogous to writing, came along
at a point in time when culture was changing due to pressues from a) the
environment and b) increasing human population.
Music and song is more of a wild card, in my humble opinion. "Music"
may be millions of years old. it isn't a big stretch for me to imagine the
LCA humming tunes to her child in order to quiet the infant and avoid
predation.
thankyou for the clarification on artificial. i think perhaps that i am
not familiar with that concept in the same way. and keep on writin'!
--chap
Post by Holly
Post by Chapstick
perhaps a good analogy for you to look at would be the development of
"writing" which merely borrowed existing brain structure for new uses... and
was developed about 6000 BC +/- 2000, in response to some sort of counting
system. those little clay balls that originally had little
trangles/circles
of clay inside later just had them stamped on the outside.
Lost me here as well.
Post by Chapstick
so, it is my belief that language was not really dependent upon
onomatopoeia. rather, purely descriptive nouns and verbs were probably first
or early.. ie, "momma' , "daddy" , "finger" , "run", "clamdip", etc... not
unlike what we see in current child development.
If it weren't onomatopoetic it wouldn't be world wide. Mama (either
for mother or father) ... likewise dada and kaka ... are just some
examples of sounds we find everywhere) Labial sounds are those our
current humans most easily and initially use. The progression has to
do with neurological growth from "hearing" and kinesthetic control.
When I visit a people who speak no English, German or Romance languages
I switch to words that sound like what I am trying to express or I draw
or I gesture ... usually all three ... one rapidly following the other.
Post by Chapstick
while there are invented languages such as esperanto (spelling?), if a
human uses the language and teaches their child, can we really call it
artificial? therefore, being that this is a fictional usage you have in
mind, you are free to use your imagination.
The term "artificial" is merely descriptive since it describes a
language that is contrived, has structure and is deliberate, verses one
that arises without a set structure and without commonly agreed on
terminology (like my gesturing and imitating). Natural language is
something others will understand (generally speaking) no matter where
you go and with whom you speak. Smiles and grimaces and gestures for
example. No doubt I have gotten myself into all kinds of semantic
trouble here.
What have we said here? Fiction is false? I am not of that mind set.
The truer fiction is the better. The beauty of it is that in some
miraculous way fiction can be truer than fact.
Holly
2006-03-15 00:42:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chapstick
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
<snip rhino question>
chances are better that whatever brain function is required in hss in order
to develop and use language evolved some 200 kya, and has always been
present in our species. These brain structures certainly include Broca's
area, Weirnecke's area and the angular gyrus, as a minimum. "We" can't
really understand to what extent sister species can use or understand
language.. for example, whether or not Koko used lnaguage for real or just
by rote.
The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains.
perhaps a good analogy for you to look at would be the development of
"writing" which merely borrowed existing brain structure for new uses... and
was developed about 6000 BC +/- 2000, in response to some sort of counting
system. those little clay balls that originally had little trangles/circles
of clay inside later just had them stamped on the outside.
so, it is my belief that language was not really dependent upon
onomatopoeia. rather, purely descriptive nouns and verbs were probably first
or early.. ie, "momma' , "daddy" , "finger" , "run", "clamdip", etc... not
unlike what we see in current child development.
while there are invented languages such as esperanto (spelling?), if a
human uses the language and teaches their child, can we really call it
artificial? therefore, being that this is a fictional usage you have in
mind, you are free to use your imagination.
~o^o~

u ubiquitous ubisunt
Chapstick
2006-03-15 00:58:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Chapstick
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
<snip rhino question>
chances are better that whatever brain function is required in hss in order
to develop and use language evolved some 200 kya, and has always been
present in our species. These brain structures certainly include Broca's
area, Weirnecke's area and the angular gyrus, as a minimum. "We" can't
really understand to what extent sister species can use or understand
language.. for example, whether or not Koko used lnaguage for real or just
by rote.
The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains.
perhaps a good analogy for you to look at would be the development of
"writing" which merely borrowed existing brain structure for new uses... and
was developed about 6000 BC +/- 2000, in response to some sort of counting
system. those little clay balls that originally had little
trangles/circles
of clay inside later just had them stamped on the outside.
so, it is my belief that language was not really dependent upon
onomatopoeia. rather, purely descriptive nouns and verbs were probably first
or early.. ie, "momma' , "daddy" , "finger" , "run", "clamdip", etc... not
unlike what we see in current child development.
while there are invented languages such as esperanto (spelling?), if a
human uses the language and teaches their child, can we really call it
artificial? therefore, being that this is a fictional usage you have in
mind, you are free to use your imagination.
~o^o~
u ubiquitous ubisunt
Ubi sunt ui ante nos fuerunt
?
:)
Holly
2006-03-15 02:34:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Chapstick
Post by Holly
Post by Chapstick
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
<snip rhino question>
chances are better that whatever brain function is required in hss in order
to develop and use language evolved some 200 kya, and has always been
present in our species. These brain structures certainly include Broca's
area, Weirnecke's area and the angular gyrus, as a minimum. "We" can't
really understand to what extent sister species can use or understand
language.. for example, whether or not Koko used lnaguage for real or just
by rote.
The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains.
perhaps a good analogy for you to look at would be the development of
"writing" which merely borrowed existing brain structure for new uses... and
was developed about 6000 BC +/- 2000, in response to some sort of counting
system. those little clay balls that originally had little
trangles/circles
of clay inside later just had them stamped on the outside.
so, it is my belief that language was not really dependent upon
onomatopoeia. rather, purely descriptive nouns and verbs were probably first
or early.. ie, "momma' , "daddy" , "finger" , "run", "clamdip", etc... not
unlike what we see in current child development.
while there are invented languages such as esperanto (spelling?), if a
human uses the language and teaches their child, can we really call it
artificial? therefore, being that this is a fictional usage you have in
mind, you are free to use your imagination.
~o^o~
u ubiquitous ubisunt
Ubi sunt ui ante nos fuerunt
?
:)
Ars est celare artem
Day Brown
2006-03-16 05:29:24 UTC
Permalink
If you have hi-speed bandwidth, you mite take a look at
http://anzi.biz/raj.htm; which is my take on the revolution following
the extinction of the Mammoth. For it is these people, who shifted from
mammoth hunting to herding Aurochs, who became the most easily
identified group that made up the Proto-Indo-Europeans.

I've collected some of the many books on Proto-Indo-European (PIE),
which is the most analyzed of all ancient languages which has had the
most widely distributed descendant tongues, from Icelandic to
Tocharian, (China to Iceland) and Sanskrit on the Indus to Finish &
Ugarit shamen in the North. With 10,000 years or more of social,
economic, and of course, language evolution.
From the mammoth bone Longhouses on the Don, we have "Dan-U" the river
goddess, and "can-u" the river boat, still seen later as Diana and
canoe. Philip Baldi, An Introduction to the Indo-European languages
shows us lots of variety in the way people think. Some seemed to live
so much in the present, with so little short term memory, that verbs in
the past tense are scarce and those in the future missing entirely. But
OTOH, we have Tocharian which has verb forms not only of past, present,
& future, but various degees of ambiguity or certainty. Like the past
which was, but is no more. or a verb for the past which was and still
is, and is expected to continue into the future. "It depends on what
the meaning of is, is." would not have worked in Tocharian; they
*always* knew when, what, and who.

Then too, Baldi reports that ancient Slavic had no words for authority
figure other than tribal leader. All the words for 'king', 'prince',
'emperor' etc are loanwords. This fits with JP Mallory, p125 of "In
Search of the Indo-Europeans" who reports that the *only* PIE word for
an authority figure is "raj". As in raja, region, regina [skt, eng.
lat], and that it turns out to mean a *female* tribal leader of great
wisdom and mana. ie, a "raj" is a "witch", which you can hear if you
speak the words.

And this fits with the Slavs, so many of whom still live in the
Transylvanian mtns where archeologist Marija Gimbutas writes of a
matriarchic culture that worshiped the great mother Goddess, eg, 'Gaia'
4000-8000 BCE.

Then too, on TV earlier tonite, a program on "The Brain" commented that
two genes were recently identified that have a lot to do with language
skill that evolved in the last 30,000 & 6000 years.

Years ago, I enjoyed reading Jane Auel's books to my then pubescent
daughters, but in the years since there's been a lot more discovered
that both supports, and challenges her depiction of paleolithic life.
My main quibble is with her focus on the romantic pair bond, which
would have made no sense at all when hominids all lived in small tribal
groups and needed to maximize genetic diversity. No female would have
used the same sperm donor for more than one kid. Any look at inbred
Ozark hillbilly clans today can see what that produces.

We tend to forget as well that lots of folks are in the gene pool who
need careful clase management- who only survived because they carried
resistance to malaria, cholera, dysentery, etc., and were definately
*not* the britest bulbs in the tribe. So- language had to reflect their
limitations. Thus, those who stayed home, like the notoriously dull
Slavs, stand in sharp contrast to the Tocharians who opened up the Silk
Road and a thriving mercantile economy that lasted for a millennia or
more... and had to deal with people that spoke a number of different
languages.

Thus, the Tocharian alphabet has 120 letters, and is useful in spelling
words from languages as diverse as Chinsese, Tibetan, Sanskrit,
Persian, & Siberian. So- when you try to figure out how people spoke,
you havta figure out who else they had to do business with.
Holly
2006-03-16 22:23:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
If you have hi-speed bandwidth, you mite take a look at
http://anzi.biz/raj.htm; which is my take on the revolution following
the extinction of the Mammoth. For it is these people, who shifted from
mammoth hunting to herding Aurochs, who became the most easily
identified group that made up the Proto-Indo-Europeans.
You have read my interest correctly. They have been high on my list to
investigate. This website however is not working properly. I have
high speed cable and very up to date computers. I can read your text
only.
Post by Day Brown
I've collected some of the many books on Proto-Indo-European (PIE),
which is the most analyzed of all ancient languages which has had the
most widely distributed descendant tongues, from Icelandic to
Tocharian, (China to Iceland) and Sanskrit on the Indus to Finish &
Ugarit shamen in the North. With 10,000 years or more of social,
economic, and of course, language evolution.
From the mammoth bone Longhouses on the Don, we have "Dan-U" the river
goddess, and "can-u" the river boat, still seen later as Diana and
canoe. Philip Baldi, An Introduction to the Indo-European languages
shows us lots of variety in the way people think. Some seemed to live
so much in the present, with so little short term memory, that verbs in
the past tense are scarce and those in the future missing entirely.
How does this differ from Chinese? Is it accurate to suggest poor
short term memory? I think it would stem more from a philosophical
point of view.

But
Post by Day Brown
OTOH, we have Tocharian which has verb forms not only of past, present,
& future, but various degees of ambiguity or certainty. Like the past
which was, but is no more. or a verb for the past which was and still
is, and is expected to continue into the future. "It depends on what
the meaning of is, is." would not have worked in Tocharian; they
*always* knew when, what, and who.
Then too, Baldi reports that ancient Slavic had no words for authority
figure other than tribal leader. All the words for 'king', 'prince',
'emperor' etc are loanwords. This fits with JP Mallory, p125 of "In
Search of the Indo-Europeans" who reports that the *only* PIE word for
an authority figure is "raj". As in raja, region, regina [skt, eng.
lat], and that it turns out to mean a *female* tribal leader of great
wisdom and mana. ie, a "raj" is a "witch", which you can hear if you
speak the words.
And this fits with the Slavs, so many of whom still live in the
Transylvanian mtns where archeologist Marija Gimbutas writes of a
matriarchic culture that worshiped the great mother Goddess, eg, 'Gaia'
4000-8000 BCE.
Then too, on TV earlier tonite, a program on "The Brain" commented that
two genes were recently identified that have a lot to do with language
skill that evolved in the last 30,000 & 6000 years.
On what have they based this conclusion? Found evidence? <chuckle>
Post by Day Brown
Years ago, I enjoyed reading Jane Auel's books to my then pubescent
daughters, but in the years since there's been a lot more discovered
that both supports, and challenges her depiction of paleolithic life.
My main quibble is with her focus on the romantic pair bond, which
would have made no sense at all when hominids all lived in small tribal
groups and needed to maximize genetic diversity. No female would have
used the same sperm donor for more than one kid. Any look at inbred
Ozark hillbilly clans today can see what that produces.
We tend to forget as well that lots of folks are in the gene pool who
need careful clase management- who only survived because they carried
resistance to malaria, cholera, dysentery, etc., and were definately
*not* the britest bulbs in the tribe. So- language had to reflect their
limitations. Thus, those who stayed home, like the notoriously dull
Slavs, stand in sharp contrast to the Tocharians who opened up the Silk
Road and a thriving mercantile economy that lasted for a millennia or
more... and had to deal with people that spoke a number of different
languages.
Thus, the Tocharian alphabet has 120 letters, and is useful in spelling
words from languages as diverse as Chinsese, Tibetan, Sanskrit,
Persian, & Siberian. So- when you try to figure out how people spoke,
you havta figure out who else they had to do business with.
Yes. Thank you very much. I like the way you think. Hope that
website gets working better.
Holly
Day Brown
2006-03-17 05:34:37 UTC
Permalink
Damifino what the problem is. I just clicked on http://anzi.biz and
then scrolled down to 'raj'. and that pulled up http://anzi.biz/raj.htm

As for the Chinese, that's going to be the next big thing in
Archaeology; Europeans who look like Celts, and wore fabric woven in
Celtic ways, including even *tartan*, moved into NW china as far back
as 4000 BP. And there is a large body of Tocharian documents that were
found first by German, French, & English expeditions 100 years ago, but
also more recently by the Chinese themselves.

Taoist monks cleaning out an abandoned Tocharian temple found a stash
of scrolls behind a false wall. I have a copy of The Maitreyasamiti
Texts in Tocharian A that was a small part of that horde.

http://csen.org/csen.tofc/csen_tofc.html has copies of documents
recovered by Prussian expeditions. There seems to be a European/Chinese
organization that will put the entire canon of Tocharian documents,
such as seen at the Univ of Frankfurt, online. Mind boggling.

The dry cold climate preserved *truckloads* of documents over 1000
years old. I dont think its all ever been read. These people wrote a
*lot*, and there are Chinese documents among the set, just part of the
whole millieu the last time the Europeans and the Chinese began doing
business with each other.

I dont feel qualified to really compare Chinese & Tocharian; my
teachers said I had no talent with english, and my studies of latin and
hebrew were not remarkable, altho I found them personally useful.

But I have a copy of Xuan Zang, a Chinese monk who was sent by the
Emperor to recover original Buddhist texts. And he started that process
by first going to Kucha in the early 7th century. We can see in his
report as well as many other texts in both Chinese and Tocharian how
these two so very different cultures yet treated each other with mutual
respect.

Course, there was a *lotta* money in it.

On the issue of memory, there is this to consider. That the Tocharians
arrive off the steppes, a land with endless grass, and not much else.
They live a very linear lifestyle, constantly figuring out where to
move the stock in consideration of the weather patterns. The Shang
however, have been farmers and herbalists for thousands of years in a
greener ecosystem with a bewildering variety of plants and animals to
deal with.

They need a less linear, more encyclopedic mind capable of managing the
inventory to make sure nobody runs out of food during winter. Both the
Tocharians and the Shang/Chou had to contend with the Zongnu, a buncha
over testosterone hunting tribes of the Gobi, who everyone got to know
when they became known as the Mongols. So- some of the meeting of minds
arose out of trying to cope with Zongnu banditry.

As for the website, I just uploaded the ebook on Kucha, and need to put
in the links to it, so maybe I can figure out what else is wrong with
the site while I'm at it.
Holly
2006-03-17 21:54:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
Damifino what the problem is. I just clicked on http://anzi.biz and
then scrolled down to 'raj'. and that pulled up http://anzi.biz/raj.htm
As for the Chinese, that's going to be the next big thing in
Archaeology;
The reason I mentioned Chinese because of the use of tenses or the lack
of the use of tenses.
Post by Day Brown
Europeans who look like Celts, and wore fabric woven in
Celtic ways, including even *tartan*, moved into NW china as far back
as 4000 BP. And there is a large body of Tocharian documents that were
found first by German, French, & English expeditions 100 years ago, but
also more recently by the Chinese themselves.
Taoist monks cleaning out an abandoned Tocharian temple found a stash
of scrolls behind a false wall. I have a copy of The Maitreyasamiti
Texts in Tocharian A that was a small part of that horde.
This is incredibly interesting to me not so much for the fiction I am
working on but more for personal reasons... Maitreya is the future
Buddha and I have been told by Tibetans of deep learning that she will
be female. Where may one read this? Do you read Tocharian?
Post by Day Brown
http://csen.org/csen.tofc/csen_tofc.html has copies of documents
recovered by Prussian expeditions. There seems to be a European/Chinese
organization that will put the entire canon of Tocharian documents,
such as seen at the Univ of Frankfurt, online. Mind boggling.
In English? I am without sufficient reading know-how in any other
language. Sad comment on US education... I was willling and capable.
I studied four other languages but never became fluent in any.
Post by Day Brown
The dry cold climate preserved *truckloads* of documents over 1000
years old. I dont think its all ever been read. These people wrote a
*lot*, and there are Chinese documents among the set, just part of the
whole millieu the last time the Europeans and the Chinese began doing
business with each other.
I dont feel qualified to really compare Chinese & Tocharian; my
teachers said I had no talent with english, and my studies of latin and
hebrew were not remarkable, altho I found them personally useful.
One needs to be careful about accepting what others try to impose on
them. Too often others for either loving reasons or less noble
intensions try to limit a person to be someone with whom they are
comfortable. "Don't ride that bike .... you might get hit." "You're
too much of a dreamer ... come back to earth." "Get real. Who do you
think you are?" Sad but true. We are not such an encouraging species.
Post by Day Brown
But I have a copy of Xuan Zang, a Chinese monk who was sent by the
Emperor to recover original Buddhist texts. And he started that process
by first going to Kucha in the early 7th century. We can see in his
report as well as many other texts in both Chinese and Tocharian how
these two so very different cultures yet treated each other with mutual
respect.
Have your read "Monkey"?
Post by Day Brown
Course, there was a *lotta* money in it.
On the issue of memory, there is this to consider. That the Tocharians
arrive off the steppes, a land with endless grass, and not much else.
They live a very linear lifestyle, constantly figuring out where to
move the stock in consideration of the weather patterns. The Shang
however, have been farmers and herbalists for thousands of years in a
greener ecosystem with a bewildering variety of plants and animals to
deal with.
Sorry ... here I think of the Mbuti people and their problems with
distance and perspective because they lived only in the rain forest.
Environments affect spacial conceptions not memory.
Post by Day Brown
They need a less linear, more encyclopedic mind capable of managing the
inventory to make sure nobody runs out of food during winter. Both the
Tocharians and the Shang/Chou had to contend with the Zongnu, a buncha
over testosterone hunting tribes of the Gobi, who everyone got to know
when they became known as the Mongols. So- some of the meeting of minds
arose out of trying to cope with Zongnu banditry.
As for the website, I just uploaded the ebook on Kucha, and need to put
in the links to it, so maybe I can figure out what else is wrong with
the site while I'm at it.
Day Brown
2006-03-17 05:44:43 UTC
Permalink
Oh yeah... this is a little later-
http://csen.org/csen.tofc/csen_tofc.html
And while its all in Central Asia, its still Aryans who still have many
of the same cultural characteristics of Neolithic Europe, but in such a
dry climate that much more of the organic remains, like fabrics, have
survived in the graves....

of Amazons. Who, despite their reputations, sometimes buried men with
the same degree of respect given to their women warriors.
Day Brown
2006-03-17 17:49:43 UTC
Permalink
< The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a
function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains. >
Interesting. It occurs to me, that this is the very era when Homo
Neanderthalis and Sapiens were in contact, and therefore sharing
traditions. Quite often we've seen since how, when two cultures meet, a
new art form emerged.

And as for religion, the earliest evidence I know of, of religion, is
the Shanidar Iraq grave where a crippled shamen was ritually buried
with flowers and seven important medicinal herbs. 52,000 years ago. The
shaman was a Neanderthal.

So, it would seem *Neanderthals* invented religion.
Holly
2006-03-17 22:25:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
< The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a
function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains. >
Interesting. It occurs to me, that this is the very era when Homo
Neanderthalis and Sapiens were in contact, and therefore sharing
traditions. Quite often we've seen since how, when two cultures meet, a
new art form emerged.
And as for religion, the earliest evidence I know of, of religion, is
the Shanidar Iraq grave where a crippled shamen was ritually buried
with flowers and seven important medicinal herbs. 52,000 years ago. The
shaman was a Neanderthal.
So, it would seem *Neanderthals* invented religion.
In response to our observation above, I object to the word "invent."

Here's an idea. I think it is mine of course..... but others ... I am
sure have thought the same thing ... how apropos. Did that ever happen
before? <sarcasm> <not directed at you>

Fact: 32 kya artists painted in a similar style and with a similar
skill as those who painted 13 kya. Examples: Chauvet Cave and Lascaux.
We do not question this fact instead we re-align our concept of late
Paleolithic "man" to a more capable being .... one who was part of a
system of oral transmission of .. Oh, I forgot, they could not speak
... okay ... of non-oral transmission of ideas of how to make their
medium ... charcoal and red ochre and yellow ochre and how to prepare
the cave walls for painting and how to shade and how to blow paint and
about perspective and line and artistic quality..... Could this have
been transmitted instinctually? Anyway... sticking to fact. Separated
by 20ky two almost exact methods of representational art exist within
close geographical proximity of each other. Now I am going to take this
great big huge irrational jump and suggest ... even though there is no
acceptable evidence to back this up, that just maybe it is possible
that folks who could paint as they did in the Chauvet Cave 32kya, could
communicate and that this communication was passed down or up or over
... however one wishes to express it ... for twenty thousand years ...
to those artists who painted the parietal art in Lascaux Caves ... Of
course we believe they were with language at that time.

This petite tirade of mine is not directed at you, Day Brown, rather at
some people in sci.lang who find it necessary to belittle those who
take the risk to explore possibilities in a rational manner albeit not
in a protestant fashion.

Please note that I have cross-posted.
Holly The Cathaginian
nickname
2006-03-17 23:55:10 UTC
Permalink
If interested, I've made some speculative associations linking a
neweborn's vernix and ochre body art and the Mona Lisa. DD
Brian M. Scott
2006-03-18 00:37:25 UTC
Permalink
On 17 Mar 2006 14:25:03 -0800, Holly <***@yahoo.com>
wrote in
<news:***@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>
in sci.anthropology.paleo,sci.lang:

[...]
Post by Holly
This petite tirade of mine is not directed at you, Day Brown, rather at
some people in sci.lang who find it necessary to belittle those who
take the risk to explore possibilities in a rational manner albeit not
in a protestant fashion.
On the contrary, we are objecting to *irrational*
approaches. Unfortunately, you show no signs of being
equipped to distinguish the two.
António Marques
2006-03-18 01:13:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
This petite tirade of mine is not directed at you, Day Brown,
rather at some people in sci.lang who find it necessary to belittle
those who take the risk to explore possibilities in a rational
manner albeit not in a protestant fashion.
On the contrary, we are objecting to *irrational* approaches.
Unfortunately, you show no signs of being equipped to distinguish the
two.
My math teacher used to say irrationals had as good a right to exist as
the others, but I didn't find that approach honest at all. How on earth
are you supposed to get the feeling that you've solved the exercise
correctly if the answer is (13 + (521/13)^.5)/47?
Ergo, it does take something to discern.
--
am

laurus : rhodophyta : brezoneg : smalltalk : stargate
Holly
2006-03-18 02:40:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian M. Scott
wrote in
[...]
Post by Holly
This petite tirade of mine is not directed at you, Day Brown, rather at
some people in sci.lang who find it necessary to belittle those who
take the risk to explore possibilities in a rational manner albeit not
in a protestant fashion.
On the contrary, we are objecting to *irrational*
approaches. Unfortunately, you show no signs of being
equipped to distinguish the two.
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting. I am not a linguist. I have clearly stated that I write
fiction. Are you an expert in this matter? I wonder. .... because I
know something of logic and am waiting for a logical disputation of
ur-languages --proto languages. I want to hear why you think that the
late Paleolithic people did not communicate with each other. Perhaps
it is you who is unable to distinguish.... or support your ability to
distinguish. Over and over again support for this position has been
requested ... still waiting. Is this no more than an ad hominem
argument? Where's the valid argument? Where's the beef? I would
like to be informed not attacked. I have no faith in the gang of you
who attack and do not present or support. At this point, I am of the
opinion that all of you are phony or lazy. If you think you intimidate
you are fools. You only paint yourselves as quasi-koOks.
Jois
2006-03-18 03:49:52 UTC
Permalink
"Holly" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:***@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
[snip]
Post by Holly
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting. I am not a linguist. I have clearly stated that I write
fiction.
[snip]

Yep, it is pretty clear this is not the place for your question.
So, how did you do in the Yahoo group?

Jois
Holly
2006-03-18 16:27:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jois
[snip]
Post by Holly
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting. I am not a linguist. I have clearly stated that I write
fiction.
[snip]
Yep, it is pretty clear this is not the place for your question.
So, how did you do in the Yahoo group?
Jois
I haven't posted there. Yahoo groups accessibility is slow. And
actually I disagree that this is not the place for my questions. So
far so good.

Thanks,
Holly
John Atkinson
2006-03-19 01:07:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
So, how did you do in the Yahoo group?
I haven't posted there. Yahoo groups accessibility is slow.
What do you mean? How does their accessibility differ from that of Usenet?
Most Yahoo groups require a moderator to approve your membership, true,
which may take a few hours or days depending on how active the moderators
are for that particular group, but once you're in approved takes at most a
minute or so for your post to appear. Is that too slow for you?

John.
deowll
2006-03-20 16:47:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
So, how did you do in the Yahoo group?
I haven't posted there. Yahoo groups accessibility is slow.
What do you mean? How does their accessibility differ from that of
Usenet? Most Yahoo groups require a moderator to approve your membership,
true, which may take a few hours or days depending on how active the
moderators are for that particular group, but once you're in approved
takes at most a minute or so for your post to appear. Is that too slow
for you?
John.
If the poster didn't want to wait days? This person had a question. Holly is
not and most likely won't devote her life to this.
Jois
2006-03-20 16:57:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by deowll
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
So, how did you do in the Yahoo group?
I haven't posted there. Yahoo groups accessibility is slow.
What do you mean? How does their accessibility differ from that of
Usenet? Most Yahoo groups require a moderator to approve your membership,
true, which may take a few hours or days depending on how active the
moderators are for that particular group, but once you're in approved
takes at most a minute or so for your post to appear. Is that too slow
for you?
John.
If the poster didn't want to wait days? This person had a question. Holly is
not and most likely won't devote her life to this.
Oddly enough, it doesn't take days and Holly had a Yahoo address already.
That is usually the most confusing part of the sign up process. Are you on
any of the Yahoo groups, Deowll?

Hate to have innocent by-standers read that it takes days and be reluctant
to try and sign up.

Jois
John Atkinson
2006-03-21 12:54:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Atkinson
Post by deowll
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
Post by Jois
So, how did you do in the Yahoo group?
I haven't posted there. Yahoo groups accessibility is slow.
What do you mean? How does their accessibility differ from that of
Usenet? Most Yahoo groups require a moderator to approve your
membership,
Post by deowll
Post by John Atkinson
true, which may take a few hours or days depending on how active the
moderators are for that particular group, but once you're in approved
takes at most a minute or so for your post to appear. Is that too slow
for you?
John.
If the poster didn't want to wait days? This person had a question. Holly
is
Post by deowll
not and most likely won't devote her life to this.
Oddly enough, it doesn't take days and Holly had a Yahoo address already.
That is usually the most confusing part of the sign up process. Are you on
any of the Yahoo groups, Deowll?
Hate to have innocent by-standers read that it takes days and be reluctant
to try and sign up.
Yep, most active groups that I know of have several moderators, and if any
of them are on line when you apply for membership, it will probably take
minutes rather than days! Provided you give enough information in your
application or userprofile so that it's clear you're not a spambot, of
course.

On the other hand ...

J.
Nathan Sanders
2006-03-18 05:27:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting. I am not a linguist. I have clearly stated that I write
fiction.
I assume you're not so arrogant as to believe that, without having
ever studied physics, you would still expect to be able to easily
understand a quick explanation of a complex, multi-faceted concept
from physics. So why would you magically expect to have a different
experience with some other technical field like linguistics?

And in fact, trimmed down explanations *have* been offered to you, but
you refused to devote any mental effort to them and went so far as to
insult those who did try to educate you. Why should the experts you
ignore and insult, or their peers, waste their time presenting you
with still more explanations, when your prior behavior suggests that
you'll simply dismiss them out of hand and probably toss off an ad
hominem for good measure to make it clear how much disdain you have
for experts?

If you are *truly* interested in learning about historical
linguistics, you should take a class taught by someone with the
appropriate training, or at least read a decent book on the subject
before proclaiming all the experts inept. I suggest Lyle Campbell's
_Historical Linguistics: An Introduction_. It's very clearly written,
reasonably accessible if you're motivated and moderately intelligent,
and a much better way to learn the material than through Usenet posts
from experts who aren't getting paid to spend the time and energy to
educate you while enduring your insults.

I get paid fairly decent money to spend a significant portion of my
time preparing and teaching a semester-long course for dedicated,
prepared, and respectful students, covering the very material that
you're demanding here for free. Not only are you being unthinkingly
selfish, but you're also being utterly unrealistic: the issue of
distinguishing between reasonable and unreasonable proto-languages
takes months to teach in a regular course for students with prior
training in linguistics, and it just cannot be condensed easily into a
single Usenet post to be understood by laymen who haven't had exposure
to the relevant terms and concepts.

Do you know what a phoneme is? A morpheme? The comparative method?
Do you know anything of substance and utility from phonetics,
phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics? If not, then you can't
honestly expect to suddenly understand something that crucially
depends on those concepts!

Try to understand calculus without knowing algebra, or relativity
without knowing classical mechanics...
Post by Holly
Are you an expert in this matter?
Somehow, I just don't think it would actually matter to you at all. I
picture some dismissive retort claiming his words are just the empty,
parroting pontifications of someone trapped in an ivory tower who
refuses to accept non-conformist, non-traditional ideas from
completely unconnected laymen outside his field.

Such bullshit blanket refutation of devoted academic study may work in
the humanities (thank you post-modernism!), but it's as worthless in
linguistics as it is in any other science.
Post by Holly
I wonder. .... because I
know something of logic and am waiting for a logical disputation of
ur-languages --proto languages.
Why on earth would a linguist offer such a disputation? Historical
linguistics, a very robust field of study with a long, distinguished
history, is concerned precisely with reconstructing proto-languages.
That's the whole point of the bloody field!

What linguists do refute are some *particular* hypothesized
proto-languages concocted by arrogant and/or lazy amateurs who haven't
bothered---and often defiantly refuse to bother---to do the necessary
beginning research, research that would ultimately reveal to them that
their fantasies are directly contradicted by the dedicated work of
actual experts who have poured over centuries of collected data and
whose ideas have been continually refined by each generation of
linguists.

Spontaneous whimsy, incoherent ramblings, and the well-known human
tendency to see patterns where they don't exist simply do not compare
to long-term, serious, rigorous academic study of systematically
identifiable patterns and robust theories that make testable,
sensible, and consistent predictions.

Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
Brian M. Scott
2006-03-18 06:23:56 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 05:27:30 GMT, Nathan Sanders
<***@williams.edu> wrote in
<news:nsanders.DIE.SPAM-***@news.verizon.net>
in sci.anthropology.paleo,sci.lang:

[...]
Post by Nathan Sanders
If you are *truly* interested in learning about historical
linguistics, you should take a class taught by someone
with the appropriate training, or at least read a decent
book on the subject before proclaiming all the experts
inept. I suggest Lyle Campbell's _Historical
Linguistics: An Introduction_. It's very clearly
written, reasonably accessible if you're motivated and
moderately intelligent, and a much better way to learn
the material than through Usenet posts from experts who
aren't getting paid to spend the time and energy to
educate you while enduring your insults.
Another good one is the late Larry Trask's _Historical
Linguistics_, which I would describe in much the same terms.

[...]

Brian
Nathan Sanders
2006-03-18 08:04:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian M. Scott
On Sat, 18 Mar 2006 05:27:30 GMT, Nathan Sanders
[...]
Post by Nathan Sanders
If you are *truly* interested in learning about historical
linguistics, you should take a class taught by someone
with the appropriate training, or at least read a decent
book on the subject before proclaiming all the experts
inept. I suggest Lyle Campbell's _Historical
Linguistics: An Introduction_. It's very clearly
written, reasonably accessible if you're motivated and
moderately intelligent, and a much better way to learn
the material than through Usenet posts from experts who
aren't getting paid to spend the time and energy to
educate you while enduring your insults.
Another good one is the late Larry Trask's _Historical
Linguistics_, which I would describe in much the same terms.
Yes, absolutely. Campbell is the textbook I assign in my course, so
it's the first book I think of for this sort of situation, but Trask's
is certainly excellent as well.

Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
Holly
2006-03-18 14:19:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathan Sanders
Post by Holly
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting. I am not a linguist. I have clearly stated that I write
fiction.
I assume you're not so arrogant as to believe that, without having
ever studied physics, you would still expect to be able to easily
understand a quick explanation of a complex, multi-faceted concept
from physics. So why would you magically expect to have a different
experience with some other technical field like linguistics?
And in fact, trimmed down explanations *have* been offered to you, but
you refused to devote any mental effort to them and went so far as to
insult those who did try to educate you. Why should the experts you
ignore and insult, or their peers, waste their time presenting you
with still more explanations, when your prior behavior suggests that
you'll simply dismiss them out of hand and probably toss off an ad
hominem for good measure to make it clear how much disdain you have
for experts?
If you are *truly* interested in learning about historical
linguistics, you should take a class taught by someone with the
appropriate training, or at least read a decent book on the subject
before proclaiming all the experts inept. I suggest Lyle Campbell's
_Historical Linguistics: An Introduction_. It's very clearly written,
reasonably accessible if you're motivated and moderately intelligent,
and a much better way to learn the material than through Usenet posts
from experts who aren't getting paid to spend the time and energy to
educate you while enduring your insults.
I get paid fairly decent money to spend a significant portion of my
time preparing and teaching a semester-long course for dedicated,
prepared, and respectful students, covering the very material that
you're demanding here for free. Not only are you being unthinkingly
selfish, but you're also being utterly unrealistic: the issue of
distinguishing between reasonable and unreasonable proto-languages
takes months to teach in a regular course for students with prior
training in linguistics, and it just cannot be condensed easily into a
single Usenet post to be understood by laymen who haven't had exposure
to the relevant terms and concepts.
Do you know what a phoneme is? A morpheme? The comparative method?
Do you know anything of substance and utility from phonetics,
phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics? If not, then you can't
honestly expect to suddenly understand something that crucially
depends on those concepts!
Try to understand calculus without knowing algebra, or relativity
without knowing classical mechanics...
Post by Holly
Are you an expert in this matter?
Somehow, I just don't think it would actually matter to you at all. I
picture some dismissive retort claiming his words are just the empty,
parroting pontifications of someone trapped in an ivory tower who
refuses to accept non-conformist, non-traditional ideas from
completely unconnected laymen outside his field.
Such bullshit blanket refutation of devoted academic study may work in
the humanities (thank you post-modernism!), but it's as worthless in
linguistics as it is in any other science.
Post by Holly
I wonder. .... because I
know something of logic and am waiting for a logical disputation of
ur-languages --proto languages.
Why on earth would a linguist offer such a disputation? Historical
linguistics, a very robust field of study with a long, distinguished
history, is concerned precisely with reconstructing proto-languages.
That's the whole point of the bloody field!
What linguists do refute are some *particular* hypothesized
proto-languages concocted by arrogant and/or lazy amateurs who haven't
bothered---and often defiantly refuse to bother---to do the necessary
beginning research, research that would ultimately reveal to them that
their fantasies are directly contradicted by the dedicated work of
actual experts who have poured over centuries of collected data and
whose ideas have been continually refined by each generation of
linguists.
Spontaneous whimsy, incoherent ramblings, and the well-known human
tendency to see patterns where they don't exist simply do not compare
to long-term, serious, rigorous academic study of systematically
identifiable patterns and robust theories that make testable,
sensible, and consistent predictions.
Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
Thank you for this suggestion.
Post by Nathan Sanders
Lyle Campbell's
_Historical Linguistics: An Introduction_.
Franz Gnaedinger
2006-03-18 14:43:54 UTC
Permalink
Nathan Sanders wrote:

(...)
Post by Nathan Sanders
Nathan
Nathan is a fine name, meaning: the Lord gave, and even
an awe inspiring name when you consider the Magdalenian,
Aurignacian, or maybe still older root of the name: NOT TON,
the one who knows and speaks out of knowledge. The one
who creates out of knowledge and via sound -- Brahman by
playing a lute (to the delight of physicists who are working
in the field of string and mebrane theory), while the Gospel
according to John says: In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God ...
God created by means of the word. He gives by means
of words. His Word is a promise He keeps, better than
any human oath. As the creator of the world, He is the
father of all beings. He is the one who knows everything.
All these meanings are kept in a plethora of words in many
languages, here just a few examples: Latin noscere for to
know, English note, to notice, Latin tongere for to think,
which may say that reasoning goes along with speaking,
forming words; ancient Greek tonos for sound, English
tone, German Ton, Italian sonare for to make sound; the
one who has the say is the ruler, Don, a university don,
a Spanish Don; the world created by a voice became Celtic
Don for the world; the thunder God makes himself heard
all over the world, German Donner for thunder, and so on,
and so on. NOT TON is especially powerful as it combines
a word and its inverse form, and the inverse TON is of an
easily recognizable onomatopoetic origin, from thunder,
German Donner, also from a braker flung by Poseidon
against a cliff ... Poseidon was originally the river god of
the Eurasian steppes, he was also the Earth Shaker, and
he created the horse. DON is a mighty river in the Ukraine,
Don also means father, rivers are "fathers" of civilization,
the rivers in the Guyenne, the River Nile, linked to Osiris
and Hapi, the Euphrates and Tigris, the Ganges, the Ole
Man Mississippi in America ... The range of meanings
of the six permutations TON NOT NTO OTN TNO ONT
can be found in my thread "what is etymology? (linguistics
and biology)" in sci.lang, the deep etymology of Poseidon,
PAS TON - the one who made himself heard everywhere on
earth, here, in the south and north, in the east and west -
in the thread some European river names, also in sci.lang,
where one can also find my very concise interpretation of
the Lascaux cave (thread on river names)..

The Lord gave Nathan Sanders plenty of termini technici
to tie up language, while he gave Holly the inspiration to
identify the oldest writing known so far in the Chauvet cave,
a PAS ideogram, our domino five, and the Lord gave me an
easy understanding, thus rewarding me for over thirty-one
years of work, and of learning along my projects. By doing
so I acquried an organic knowledge that springs insights and
ideas, and gives me the strength to take it up with everybody,
for which precious gifts I am most grateful -- they are a sine
qua non of my scientific work.

Regards Franz Gnaedinger www.seshat.ch
Brian M. Scott
2006-03-18 08:29:45 UTC
Permalink
On 17 Mar 2006 18:40:25 -0800, Holly <***@yahoo.com>
wrote in
Post by Holly
Post by Brian M. Scott
wrote in
[...]
Post by Holly
This petite tirade of mine is not directed at you, Day Brown, rather at
some people in sci.lang who find it necessary to belittle those who
take the risk to explore possibilities in a rational manner albeit not
in a protestant fashion.
On the contrary, we are objecting to *irrational*
approaches. Unfortunately, you show no signs of being
equipped to distinguish the two.
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting.
Oh? The most charitable inference that might be drawn from
that remarkable assertion is you still haven't actually
*thought* about the post in which Nathan demonstrated the
futility of Franz's vaporings.
Post by Holly
I am not a linguist.
So? Nathan's explanation is extremely elementary and
non-technical, requiring no linguistic background
whatsoever. This is hardly surprising: anyone with the
slightest understanding of science should be able to see
that what Franz is doing is utterly bogus navel-gazing.
Post by Holly
I have clearly stated that I write fiction. Are you an
expert in this matter?
Expert? No. My doctorate is in mathematics, not
linguistics. On the other hand, I have been interested in
linguistics, especially historical linguistics, for a good
45 years and have studied it seriously for over a decade;
call me a knowledgeable amateur.
Post by Holly
I wonder. .... because I know something of logic and am
waiting for a logical disputation of ur-languages --proto
languages. I want to hear why you think that the late
Paleolithic people did not communicate with each other.
What on earth are you smoking? I don't think any such
thing, and nothing that I've written here can reasonably be
construed to suggest that I do. It appears that you're
confusing 'we cannot reconstruct X' with 'X did not exist'.
That's a pretty grotesque error for someone who claims to
'know something of logic'.

[...]
Holly
2006-03-18 14:15:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian M. Scott
wrote in
Post by Holly
Post by Brian M. Scott
wrote in
[...]
Post by Holly
This petite tirade of mine is not directed at you, Day Brown, rather at
some people in sci.lang who find it necessary to belittle those who
take the risk to explore possibilities in a rational manner albeit not
in a protestant fashion.
On the contrary, we are objecting to *irrational*
approaches. Unfortunately, you show no signs of being
equipped to distinguish the two.
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting.
Oh? The most charitable inference that might be drawn from
that remarkable assertion is you still haven't actually
*thought* about the post in which Nathan demonstrated the
futility of Franz's vaporings.
Post by Holly
I am not a linguist.
So? Nathan's explanation is extremely elementary and
non-technical, requiring no linguistic background
whatsoever. This is hardly surprising: anyone with the
slightest understanding of science should be able to see
that what Franz is doing is utterly bogus navel-gazing.
Post by Holly
I have clearly stated that I write fiction. Are you an
expert in this matter?
Expert? No. My doctorate is in mathematics, not
linguistics. On the other hand, I have been interested in
linguistics, especially historical linguistics, for a good
45 years and have studied it seriously for over a decade;
call me a knowledgeable amateur.
Post by Holly
I wonder. .... because I know something of logic and am
waiting for a logical disputation of ur-languages --proto
languages. I want to hear why you think that the late
Paleolithic people did not communicate with each other.
What on earth are you smoking? I don't think any such
thing, and nothing that I've written here can reasonably be
construed to suggest that I do. It appears that you're
confusing 'we cannot reconstruct X' with 'X did not exist'.
That's a pretty grotesque error for someone who claims to
'know something of logic'.
Thank you for clarifying this. I am trying not to continue the
sarcastic tit for tat so I will limit my comments to the positive. I
would very much like to learn > by way of a reference< how you think
they communicated. I am hopeful that the texts suggested here will
address that.
Nathan Sanders
2006-03-18 17:21:53 UTC
Permalink
I would very much like to learn > by way of a reference< how you think
they communicated. I am hopeful that the texts suggested here will
address that.
They will tell you the same thing that has been said here --- we don't
know, and without further linguistic data, we will never know.

Here is an example of the problem from Indo-European, the most
well-studied language family, with a long written record (the problems
are significantly worse for less studied languages, and languages with
little or no written records).

The core Indo-European languages have been proven to be related beyond
a doubt (there are some outside the core that are in question, but
they are not relevant to this discussion). The evidence for this
family is overwhelming, robust, and predictive: we know how most of
the IE languages have changed during the 6,000 years or so since they
were a single proto-language, and we can reliably derive how any given
proto-word would be pronounced in the modern languages.

However, the IE languages have each undergone so many different
individual changes (Grimm's Law, centum/satem split, various vowel
shifts, deletions, insertions, mergers, splits, etc.), that interact
in complicated ways, which has resulted in many of their true, known
cognates no longer resembling each other phonetically. Some
well-known examples:

English wheel Hindi cakka:
English five Greek pende Spanish sinko
English two Armenian erku
English hundred Latin kentum French sã

(Funny thing --- these are real, known cognates, but you'll never see
Franz or his ilk propose any supposedly related words that diverge
this drastically. Yet actual linguists can prove that words like this
are cognates, through regular, systematic sound changes.)

Worse, many cognates that do still resemble each other phonetically no
longer have similar meanings. Some make sense with knowledge of the
cultures involved (German beten means "to pray", but its cognate in
English is bead), while others seem a bit odd (English knight is
cognate with German Knecht which means "servant"; English black is
cognate with Russian byel which means "white"), and some have no
obvious semantic relationship at all (English leaf is cognate with
Hindi lut which means "rob"!).

Complicating matters even further are false cognates, words that we
know for a fact are not cognates in these languages, but without
intensive study, a naive person would think they were cognates:
English day and Spanish dia, English hut and Russian hata, English
have and Latin habere, English whole and Greek holos, etc.

(And none of this takes into account borrowing between languages,
which makes a huge mess of things and makes two languages look more
related than they actually are.)

Now, all of this natural divergence and accidental similarity comes
from a mere 6,000 years of language change. But if related languages
can change that drastically in just 6,000 years, then how could we
hope to find out what a common language looked like 20,000, 30,000, or
god forbid, 100,000 years ago?

Mathematically, the numbers just don't work out in our favor: as the
length of time between the proto-language and the modern languages
increases, the chances increase for true cognates to become
unrecognizable as such and for new false cognates to come into
existence, both factors in giving us the wrong results when we
construct a proto-language. Essentially, we reach a point (at around
10,000 years or so) where it is statistically impossible to
reconstruct a proto-language because we cannot tell the difference
between cognates and non-cognates.

Here's an analogy that may help slog through the linguistics:

Suppose I have two stained glass windows. If I break each one into a
couple dozen pieces, you could still pick out pieces from each pile
that are "cognates", and you could even likely reconstruct what the
original windows looked like and tell whether they looked the same.

But if I had smashed them each into thousands of pieces, you would be
unable to tell whether or not a given shard from one pile was cognate
to a given shard from another pile, and you certainly couldn't
reconstruct the original windows and would have no idea if they looked
the same.

Over time, languages are similarly "smashed", becoming less and less
obviously related, until we reach a point where it becomes impossible
to determine anything signficant about the original languages.

If you want more information, I strongly suggest reading a textbook.

Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
Holly
2006-03-18 21:46:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathan Sanders
I would very much like to learn > by way of a reference< how you think
they communicated. I am hopeful that the texts suggested here will
address that.
They will tell you the same thing that has been said here --- we don't
know, and without further linguistic data, we will never know.
Here is an example of the problem from Indo-European, the most
well-studied language family, with a long written record (the problems
are significantly worse for less studied languages, and languages with
little or no written records).
The core Indo-European languages have been proven to be related beyond
a doubt (there are some outside the core that are in question, but
they are not relevant to this discussion). The evidence for this
family is overwhelming, robust, and predictive: we know how most of
the IE languages have changed during the 6,000 years or so since they
were a single proto-language, and we can reliably derive how any given
proto-word would be pronounced in the modern languages.
However, the IE languages have each undergone so many different
individual changes (Grimm's Law, centum/satem split, various vowel
shifts, deletions, insertions, mergers, splits, etc.), that interact
in complicated ways, which has resulted in many of their true, known
cognates no longer resembling each other phonetically. Some
English five Greek pende Spanish sinko
English two Armenian erku
English hundred Latin kentum French sã
(Funny thing --- these are real, known cognates, but you'll never see
Franz or his ilk propose any supposedly related words that diverge
this drastically. Yet actual linguists can prove that words like this
are cognates, through regular, systematic sound changes.)
Worse, many cognates that do still resemble each other phonetically no
longer have similar meanings. Some make sense with knowledge of the
cultures involved (German beten means "to pray", but its cognate in
English is bead), while others seem a bit odd (English knight is
cognate with German Knecht which means "servant"; English black is
cognate with Russian byel which means "white"), and some have no
obvious semantic relationship at all (English leaf is cognate with
Hindi lut which means "rob"!).
Complicating matters even further are false cognates, words that we
know for a fact are not cognates in these languages, but without
English day and Spanish dia, English hut and Russian hata, English
have and Latin habere, English whole and Greek holos, etc.
(And none of this takes into account borrowing between languages,
which makes a huge mess of things and makes two languages look more
related than they actually are.)
Now, all of this natural divergence and accidental similarity comes
from a mere 6,000 years of language change. But if related languages
can change that drastically in just 6,000 years, then how could we
hope to find out what a common language looked like 20,000, 30,000, or
god forbid, 100,000 years ago?
Mathematically, the numbers just don't work out in our favor: as the
length of time between the proto-language and the modern languages
increases, the chances increase for true cognates to become
unrecognizable as such and for new false cognates to come into
existence, both factors in giving us the wrong results when we
construct a proto-language. Essentially, we reach a point (at around
10,000 years or so) where it is statistically impossible to
reconstruct a proto-language because we cannot tell the difference
between cognates and non-cognates.
Suppose I have two stained glass windows. If I break each one into a
couple dozen pieces, you could still pick out pieces from each pile
that are "cognates", and you could even likely reconstruct what the
original windows looked like and tell whether they looked the same.
But if I had smashed them each into thousands of pieces, you would be
unable to tell whether or not a given shard from one pile was cognate
to a given shard from another pile, and you certainly couldn't
reconstruct the original windows and would have no idea if they looked
the same.
Over time, languages are similarly "smashed", becoming less and less
obviously related, until we reach a point where it becomes impossible
to determine anything signficant about the original languages.
If you want more information, I strongly suggest reading a textbook.
Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
Thank you Nathan Sanders,
That is very interesting ... even exciting. I cannot imagine any lover
of language not being drawn toward understanding this. So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?

Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!

Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like? For example, the idea that Franz offered about
clicks <!L> or Bulgarian and Tibetan mountain songs that seem to
project sound great distances, or bird like whistles any imitative
sounds of animals and nature ... would that be a good placed to begin
... if one were playing with the idea .... sort of blending game with
science ... you know the homo sapiens-luden with homo
sapiens-scientifica? ;-)

Respectfully,
Holly
The *Holly* Project
Department of Universal Play
Brian M. Scott
2006-03-19 03:13:56 UTC
Permalink
On 18 Mar 2006 13:46:30 -0800, Holly <***@yahoo.com>
wrote in
[...]
Post by Holly
Post by Nathan Sanders
Over time, languages are similarly "smashed", becoming less and less
obviously related, until we reach a point where it becomes impossible
to determine anything signficant about the original languages.
If you want more information, I strongly suggest reading a textbook.
Thank you Nathan Sanders,
That is very interesting ... even exciting. I cannot imagine any lover
of language not being drawn toward understanding this. So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like? For example, the idea that Franz offered about
clicks <!L> or Bulgarian and Tibetan mountain songs that seem to
project sound great distances, or bird like whistles any imitative
sounds of animals and nature ... would that be a good placed to begin
... if one were playing with the idea .... sort of blending game with
science ... you know the homo sapiens-luden with homo
sapiens-scientifica? ;-)
Clicks are unlikely; see J.C. Catford, 'The Myth of the
Primordial Click', in _Indo-European, Nostratic, and Beyond:
Festschrift for Vitalij V. Shevoroshkin, JIES Monograph Nr.
22. In brief, he concludes that '[i]t seems most
reasonable, then, to assume the _opposite_ of the van
Ginneken-Johnston-Jespersen-Chatterji-Stopa primordial click
hypothesis -- namely that human speech began with pulmonic
egressive initiation and simple articulations, and that in
the course of development of language, clicks and other
exotic sounds have arisen here and there as mutations of the
normal pulmonic egressive types of sound'.
deowll
2006-03-20 16:50:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian M. Scott
wrote in
[...]
Post by Holly
Post by Nathan Sanders
Over time, languages are similarly "smashed", becoming less and less
obviously related, until we reach a point where it becomes impossible
to determine anything signficant about the original languages.
If you want more information, I strongly suggest reading a textbook.
Thank you Nathan Sanders,
That is very interesting ... even exciting. I cannot imagine any lover
of language not being drawn toward understanding this. So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like? For example, the idea that Franz offered about
clicks <!L> or Bulgarian and Tibetan mountain songs that seem to
project sound great distances, or bird like whistles any imitative
sounds of animals and nature ... would that be a good placed to begin
... if one were playing with the idea .... sort of blending game with
science ... you know the homo sapiens-luden with homo
sapiens-scientifica? ;-)
Clicks are unlikely; see J.C. Catford, 'The Myth of the
Festschrift for Vitalij V. Shevoroshkin, JIES Monograph Nr.
22. In brief, he concludes that '[i]t seems most
reasonable, then, to assume the _opposite_ of the van
Ginneken-Johnston-Jespersen-Chatterji-Stopa primordial click
hypothesis -- namely that human speech began with pulmonic
egressive initiation and simple articulations, and that in
the course of development of language, clicks and other
exotic sounds have arisen here and there as mutations of the
normal pulmonic egressive types of sound'.
Clicks don't seem to bother animals the way normal human speach does. For
hunters clicks work but you may be right in thinking click language is high
end.
Nathan Sanders
2006-03-20 18:16:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Correct. Undoubtedly, they communicated verbally. And just as
undoubtedly, we cannot know the details of their communication system
beyond the very basics that are common to all languages (i.e., they
had nouns, verbs, consonants, and vowels).
Post by Holly
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Of course. Unfortunately, a lot of linguistic fiction tries to pass
itself off as scientific fact. A lot of people assume that being a
native speaker of a language and knowing other languages makes them de
facto experts on linguistics, but that's just as false as a child
claiming that being a child and knowing lots of children makes them a
de facto expert in pediatrics.
Post by Holly
Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like?
Just based on distributions across modern languages and acoustic and
articulatory facts, I'd say that at a minimum, their phoneme inventory
probably contained:

* oral stops in at least three places of articulation (labial,
coronal, dorsal) with a probable contrast in glottal states
(oppositions in voicing, glottalization, and/or aspiration)

* at least two voiceless fricatives, probably contrasting in sibilancy
(i.e., /s S s./ versus /f T x h/)

* at least two nasals, probably /m/ and /n/

* at least three monophthong vowels, probably /i u a/, and likely
more, plus some diphthongs

Of course, any of these could be wrong, because modern languages don't
always obey universal tendencies (e.g., Hawai'ian has no coronal stop,
no contrast in glottal states for stops, and no sibilant fricative).

Beyond that, it's pretty impossible to say anything more. Did they
have complex consonant clusters? Closed syllables? Was their accent
stress-based or tone-based? Was their morphology agglutinative,
isolating, or something in between? Was their word order SVO, SOV,
VOS...?

It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].

There are simply far too many parameters with far too many possible
values. It's like trying to figure out what the first move was in a
game of chess, based solely on seeing the final state of the board
(not knowing who went first, how many moves the game took, etc.). You
can make numerous educated guesses, but you just can't know for
certain, and without further information, you will never know.

Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
Holly
2006-03-20 23:54:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathan Sanders
Post by Holly
So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Correct. Undoubtedly, they communicated verbally. And just as
undoubtedly, we cannot know the details of their communication system
beyond the very basics that are common to all languages (i.e., they
had nouns, verbs, consonants, and vowels).
Post by Holly
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Of course. Unfortunately, a lot of linguistic fiction tries to pass
itself off as scientific fact. A lot of people assume that being a
native speaker of a language and knowing other languages makes them de
facto experts on linguistics, but that's just as false as a child
claiming that being a child and knowing lots of children makes them a
de facto expert in pediatrics.
Post by Holly
Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like?
Just based on distributions across modern languages and acoustic and
articulatory facts, I'd say that at a minimum, their phoneme inventory
* oral stops in at least three places of articulation (labial,
coronal, dorsal) with a probable contrast in glottal states
(oppositions in voicing, glottalization, and/or aspiration)
* at least two voiceless fricatives, probably contrasting in sibilancy
(i.e., /s S s./ versus /f T x h/)
* at least two nasals, probably /m/ and /n/
* at least three monophthong vowels, probably /i u a/, and likely
more, plus some diphthongs
Of course, any of these could be wrong, because modern languages don't
always obey universal tendencies (e.g., Hawai'ian has no coronal stop,
no contrast in glottal states for stops, and no sibilant fricative).
Beyond that, it's pretty impossible to say anything more. Did they
have complex consonant clusters? Closed syllables? Was their accent
stress-based or tone-based? Was their morphology agglutinative,
isolating, or something in between? Was their word order SVO, SOV,
VOS...?
It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].
There are simply far too many parameters with far too many possible
values. It's like trying to figure out what the first move was in a
game of chess, based solely on seeing the final state of the board
(not knowing who went first, how many moves the game took, etc.). You
can make numerous educated guesses, but you just can't know for
certain, and without further information, you will never know.
Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
I do understand your point. I am not striving to recreate a
proto-language ... even if it might have existed ... What I am seeking
is an understanding that requires the views from many fields of study
to form the suggested authentic "picture." The creators of Klingon who
got some ideas from Swahili and Nahauti, did a good job with that. And
I do fancy playing with the agglutinative language idea. The Bushman
of the Kalahari, our ancestors, who click perhaps because they are
hunters ...may provide good direction as well ... not so much for the
clink as it is heard now but by keeping the purpose of the sounds of
language in tune with the specific environment. Using the idea of
non-voiced sounds, as you suggested, like fricatives and labial
plosives ... as a way to communicate without alarming prey is
reasonable. Since our Europeon ancesters took there good old time
while passing through Eurasia, perhaps they brought with them some
nasal sounds like the "ng" used in Mandarin -- an ancient sound. Lots
to play with.
And thank you for your time and effort.
John Atkinson
2006-03-21 13:58:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Nathan Sanders
Post by Holly
So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Correct. Undoubtedly, they communicated verbally. And just as
undoubtedly, we cannot know the details of their communication system
beyond the very basics that are common to all languages (i.e., they
had nouns, verbs, consonants, and vowels).
Post by Holly
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Of course. Unfortunately, a lot of linguistic fiction tries to pass
itself off as scientific fact. A lot of people assume that being a
native speaker of a language and knowing other languages makes them de
facto experts on linguistics, but that's just as false as a child
claiming that being a child and knowing lots of children makes them a
de facto expert in pediatrics.
Post by Holly
Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like?
Just based on distributions across modern languages and acoustic and
articulatory facts, I'd say that at a minimum, their phoneme inventory
* oral stops in at least three places of articulation (labial,
coronal, dorsal) with a probable contrast in glottal states
(oppositions in voicing, glottalization, and/or aspiration)
* at least two voiceless fricatives, probably contrasting in sibilancy
(i.e., /s S s./ versus /f T x h/)
* at least two nasals, probably /m/ and /n/
* at least three monophthong vowels, probably /i u a/, and likely
more, plus some diphthongs
Of course, any of these could be wrong, because modern languages don't
always obey universal tendencies (e.g., Hawai'ian has no coronal stop,
no contrast in glottal states for stops, and no sibilant fricative).
Beyond that, it's pretty impossible to say anything more. Did they
have complex consonant clusters? Closed syllables? Was their accent
stress-based or tone-based? Was their morphology agglutinative,
isolating, or something in between? Was their word order SVO, SOV,
VOS...?
It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].
There are simply far too many parameters with far too many possible
values. It's like trying to figure out what the first move was in a
game of chess, based solely on seeing the final state of the board
(not knowing who went first, how many moves the game took, etc.). You
can make numerous educated guesses, but you just can't know for
certain, and without further information, you will never know.
Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
I do understand your point. I am not striving to recreate a
proto-language ... even if it might have existed ... What I am seeking
is an understanding that requires the views from many fields of study
to form the suggested authentic "picture." The creators of Klingon who
got some ideas from Swahili and Nahauti, did a good job with that. And
I do fancy playing with the agglutinative language idea. The Bushman
of the Kalahari, our ancestors,
They're not "our ancestors". It's possible that you had Khoisan speaking
ancestors, especially if you were born in South Africa, but I'm about as
sure as anyone could be about that sort of thing that none of my ancestors
came from that part of the world within the last millenium or so.
Post by Holly
who click perhaps because they are
hunters
More likely not ... after all, hunters in Australia, America, and most of
Africa don't have clicks. And many speakers of Khoisan languages are
herders.

...may provide good direction as well ... not so much for the
Post by Holly
clink as it is heard now but by keeping the purpose of the sounds of
language in tune with the specific environment. Using the idea of
non-voiced sounds, as you suggested, like fricatives and labial
plosives
Fricatives (/z/, /s/, /v/, /f/, etc etc) and labial plosives (/b/, /p/) can
be voiced or non-voiced
Post by Holly
... as a way to communicate without alarming prey is
reasonable. Since our Europeon ancesters took there good old time
while passing through Eurasia, perhaps they brought with them some
nasal sounds like the "ng" used in Mandarin -- an ancient sound.
Why do you call it "ancient"? This phoneme (written /N/ in ASCII IPA) is
pretty common in the world's languages, though somewhat less so than /n/ and
/m/. Most common in Australia and the Pacific, fairly common in Africa,
rarest in North America. It's absent from many Eurasian languages, true,
but so what? It comes and goes in the history of languages. For example,
Old English didn't have it as a phoneme, but Modern English does, due mainly
to sounds dropping off the ends of words (/singen/ -> /siN/). In a few
Chinese dialects, final /N/ has been lost, with the preceding vowel being
nasalised instead.
Post by Holly
to play with.
And thank you for your time and effort.
Holly
2006-03-21 22:21:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
Post by Nathan Sanders
Post by Holly
So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Correct. Undoubtedly, they communicated verbally. And just as
undoubtedly, we cannot know the details of their communication system
beyond the very basics that are common to all languages (i.e., they
had nouns, verbs, consonants, and vowels).
Post by Holly
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Of course. Unfortunately, a lot of linguistic fiction tries to pass
itself off as scientific fact. A lot of people assume that being a
native speaker of a language and knowing other languages makes them de
facto experts on linguistics, but that's just as false as a child
claiming that being a child and knowing lots of children makes them a
de facto expert in pediatrics.
Post by Holly
Of course, now that we're talking nicely to each other, <g> I wonder,
with your expertise if you could guesitmate what such a language would
look and sound like?
Just based on distributions across modern languages and acoustic and
articulatory facts, I'd say that at a minimum, their phoneme inventory
* oral stops in at least three places of articulation (labial,
coronal, dorsal) with a probable contrast in glottal states
(oppositions in voicing, glottalization, and/or aspiration)
* at least two voiceless fricatives, probably contrasting in sibilancy
(i.e., /s S s./ versus /f T x h/)
* at least two nasals, probably /m/ and /n/
* at least three monophthong vowels, probably /i u a/, and likely
more, plus some diphthongs
Of course, any of these could be wrong, because modern languages don't
always obey universal tendencies (e.g., Hawai'ian has no coronal stop,
no contrast in glottal states for stops, and no sibilant fricative).
Beyond that, it's pretty impossible to say anything more. Did they
have complex consonant clusters? Closed syllables? Was their accent
stress-based or tone-based? Was their morphology agglutinative,
isolating, or something in between? Was their word order SVO, SOV,
VOS...?
It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].
There are simply far too many parameters with far too many possible
values. It's like trying to figure out what the first move was in a
game of chess, based solely on seeing the final state of the board
(not knowing who went first, how many moves the game took, etc.). You
can make numerous educated guesses, but you just can't know for
certain, and without further information, you will never know.
Nathan
--
Nathan Sanders
Linguistics Program
Williams College
http://wso.williams.edu/~nsanders/
I do understand your point. I am not striving to recreate a
proto-language ... even if it might have existed ... What I am seeking
is an understanding that requires the views from many fields of study
to form the suggested authentic "picture." The creators of Klingon who
got some ideas from Swahili and Nahauti, did a good job with that. And
I do fancy playing with the agglutinative language idea. The Bushman
of the Kalahari, our ancestors,
They're not "our ancestors". It's possible that you had Khoisan speaking
ancestors, especially if you were born in South Africa, but I'm about as
sure as anyone could be about that sort of thing that none of my ancestors
came from that part of the world within the last millenium or so.
DNA says we are all related to the Bushman....50 thousand years ago.
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
who click perhaps because they are
hunters
More likely not ... after all, hunters in Australia, America, and most of
Africa don't have clicks. And many speakers of Khoisan languages are
herders.
I did not think that all hunters from around the world do that. I
don't know whether the Paleolithic ancestors to Bushman clicked ... I
thought it could have happened.
Post by John Atkinson
...may provide good direction as well ... not so much for the
Post by Holly
clink as it is heard now but by keeping the purpose of the sounds of
language in tune with the specific environment. Using the idea of
non-voiced sounds, as you suggested, like fricatives and labial
plosives
Fricatives (/z/, /s/, /v/, /f/, etc etc) and labial plosives (/b/, /p/) can
be voiced or non-voiced
Yes. I know.
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
... as a way to communicate without alarming prey is
reasonable. Since our Europeon ancesters took there good old time
while passing through Eurasia, perhaps they brought with them some
nasal sounds like the "ng" used in Mandarin -- an ancient sound.
Why do you call it "ancient"?
Because I read that it was considered a very ancient sound. That does
not mean that it is not used today. It is used in Mandarin and
Vietnamese and Cantonese ... I should think some other dialects as
well. Mandarin, the example I gave, is a living language.
Post by John Atkinson
This phoneme (written /N/ in ASCII IPA) is
pretty common in the world's languages, though somewhat less so than /n/ and
/m/. Most common in Australia and the Pacific, fairly common in Africa,
rarest in North America. It's absent from many Eurasian languages, true,
but so what? It comes and goes in the history of languages. For example,
Old English didn't have it as a phoneme, but Modern English does, due mainly
to sounds dropping off the ends of words (/singen/ -> /siN/). In a few
Chinese dialects, final /N/ has been lost, with the preceding vowel being
nasalised instead.
The sound "NG" that I'm referring to is not used in Modern English.
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
to play with.
And thank you for your time and effort.
Peter T. Daniels
2006-03-21 22:27:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
The Bushman
of the Kalahari, our ancestors,
They're not "our ancestors". It's possible that you had Khoisan speaking
ancestors, especially if you were born in South Africa, but I'm about as
sure as anyone could be about that sort of thing that none of my ancestors
came from that part of the world within the last millenium or so.
DNA says we are all related to the Bushman....50 thousand years ago.
We don't need DNA to tell us that. But "the Bushman" is not _our
ancestor_. "He" is a many-numbered, much-removed cousin.
Post by Holly
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
nasal sounds like the "ng" used in Mandarin -- an ancient sound.
Why do you call it "ancient"?
Because I read that it was considered a very ancient sound.
Where did you read such a thing?
Post by Holly
The sound "NG" that I'm referring to is not used in Modern English.
^^
Then what sound are you referring to?
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
John Atkinson
2006-03-22 01:03:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Holly
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
nasal sounds like the "ng" used in Mandarin -- an ancient sound.
Why do you call it "ancient"?
Because I read that it was considered a very ancient sound.
Where did you read such a thing?
Post by Holly
The sound "NG" that I'm referring to is not used in Modern English.
^^
Then what sound are you referring to?
One of the sounds of Mandarin, she says! But, there's no sounds in Mandarin
(or any other variety of Chinese, AFAIK) that, by any stretch of the
imagination, cound be written as "ng" or "NG" -- other than, of course, the
one I referred to, the velar nasal that occurs at the end of syllables in
English <singing> or Mandarin "Zhongguo", China; or, in Cantonese, at the
beginning of "ngo", I, me, and syllabically in the common family name "Ng".

John.
nickname
2006-03-22 21:14:31 UTC
Permalink
Ng viet noi diung viet minh
An approximation of "Do you speak Vietnamese" IIRC.

Wickerman festival reported by Ceasar of Celts in Britain, connection
to Wicca, wicked, witch, raja? DD
Franz Gnaedinger
2006-03-21 07:35:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathan Sanders
It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].
Mark Twain, in Huckleberry Finn, describes a summer storm.
Jim and Huck hide in an island of the Mississippi. The way
the birds behave announces rain, so they store their provisions
in a large cavern on top of the island. "We spread the blankets
inside for a carpet, and eat out dinner in there. We put all the
other things handy at the back of the cavern. Pretty soon it
darkened up and begun to thunder and lighten; so the birds
were right about it. Directly it begun to rain, and it rained like
all fury, too, and I never see the wind blow so. It was one of
these regular summer storms. It would get so dark that it looked
like all blue-black outside, and lovely; and the rain would thrash
along by so thick that the trees off a little way looked like dim
and spider-webby; and here would come a blast of wind that
would bend the trees down and turn up the pale underside of
the leaves; and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along
and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just
wild; and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest
- _fst!_ it was as bright as glory and you'd have a little glimpse
of tree-tops a-plunging about, away off yonder in the storm,
hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as
sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go
with an awful crash and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling
down the sky towards the under side of the world, like rolling
empty barrels downstairs, where it's long stairs and they bounce
a good deal, you know."

Gorgeous word painting, and when you consider cave art you
can well assume that Cro-Magnon, who was basically us,
who had the same physiology and the same gab, liked word
painting too, onomatopoetic words, that is. Hypothetical TON
for thunder, then for any sound, survived in many words, for
example ancient Greek tomos for rope, chord, tension, sound,
meter (of a verse), Latin tonitrus tonitrua for thunder, tono for
I thunder, speak with a booming, thundering voice, tonat for
it thunders, Tonans for Jupiter and Saturn, later for any god,
tonus for sound, accent, thunder, French ton for sound, tonner
for to thunder, tonnère for thunder, German Donner for thunder,
Ton for sound.

The German word for thunderstorm is Gewitter. Mark Twain
made fun of Gewitter - what a lame word compared to English
thunderstorm. Even _toothsbrush_ got more experession than
Gewitter, so he generously offered toothbrush to the Germans
as a better word than lame Gewitter ... Well, if Cro-Magnon
was not able to say TON, he may have said TOOTHBRUSH,
and while the Romans worshipped Jupiter and Saturn as
thunder gods in Tonos, Cro-Magnon must have worshipped
a Lord Toothbrush for their thunder god, and you certainly
know that the supreme deity always was the weather god
who made himself heard in thunder ...

Franz Gnaedinger
Holly
2006-03-21 11:37:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Nathan Sanders
It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].
Mark Twain, in Huckleberry Finn, describes a summer storm.
Jim and Huck hide in an island of the Mississippi. The way
the birds behave announces rain, so they store their provisions
in a large cavern on top of the island. "We spread the blankets
inside for a carpet, and eat out dinner in there. We put all the
other things handy at the back of the cavern. Pretty soon it
darkened up and begun to thunder and lighten; so the birds
were right about it. Directly it begun to rain, and it rained like
all fury, too, and I never see the wind blow so. It was one of
these regular summer storms. It would get so dark that it looked
like all blue-black outside, and lovely; and the rain would thrash
along by so thick that the trees off a little way looked like dim
and spider-webby; and here would come a blast of wind that
would bend the trees down and turn up the pale underside of
the leaves; and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along
and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just
wild; and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest
- _fst!_ it was as bright as glory and you'd have a little glimpse
of tree-tops a-plunging about, away off yonder in the storm,
hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as
sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go
with an awful crash and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling
down the sky towards the under side of the world, like rolling
empty barrels downstairs, where it's long stairs and they bounce
a good deal, you know."
Gorgeous word painting, and when you consider cave art you
can well assume that Cro-Magnon, who was basically us,
who had the same physiology and the same gab, liked word
painting too, onomatopoetic words, that is. Hypothetical TON
for thunder, then for any sound, survived in many words, for
example ancient Greek tomos for rope, chord, tension, sound,
meter (of a verse), Latin tonitrus tonitrua for thunder, tono for
I thunder, speak with a booming, thundering voice, tonat for
it thunders, Tonans for Jupiter and Saturn, later for any god,
tonus for sound, accent, thunder, French ton for sound, tonner
for to thunder, tonnère for thunder, German Donner for thunder,
Ton for sound.
The German word for thunderstorm is Gewitter. Mark Twain
made fun of Gewitter - what a lame word compared to English
thunderstorm. Even _toothsbrush_ got more experession than
Gewitter, so he generously offered toothbrush to the Germans
as a better word than lame Gewitter ... Well, if Cro-Magnon
was not able to say TON, he may have said TOOTHBRUSH,
and while the Romans worshipped Jupiter and Saturn as
thunder gods in Tonos, Cro-Magnon must have worshipped
a Lord Toothbrush for their thunder god, and you certainly
know that the supreme deity always was the weather god
who made himself heard in thunder ...
Franz Gnaedinger
Happy Birthday Franz!!!!! On the day your mother first saw you, you
filled her heart with joy. Like your mother we are glad for your
presence in this time and place. Hurrah! Smiles and Blessings .....

Holly

P.S. Perhaps the Cro-Magnon gave us the Tooth Fairy.
nickname
2006-03-21 22:53:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Nathan Sanders
It's certainly completely impossible to say anything about particular
words. It is utter fantasy that their word for "sound" was pronounced
anything like [ton].
Mark Twain, in Huckleberry Finn, describes a summer storm.
Jim and Huck hide in an island of the Mississippi. The way
the birds behave announces rain, so they store their provisions
in a large cavern on top of the island. "We spread the blankets
inside for a carpet, and eat out dinner in there. We put all the
other things handy at the back of the cavern. Pretty soon it
darkened up and begun to thunder and lighten; so the birds
were right about it. Directly it begun to rain, and it rained like
all fury, too, and I never see the wind blow so. It was one of
these regular summer storms. It would get so dark that it looked
like all blue-black outside, and lovely; and the rain would thrash
along by so thick that the trees off a little way looked like dim
and spider-webby; and here would come a blast of wind that
would bend the trees down and turn up the pale underside of
the leaves; and then a perfect ripper of a gust would follow along
and set the branches to tossing their arms as if they was just
wild; and next, when it was just about the bluest and blackest
- _fst!_ it was as bright as glory and you'd have a little glimpse
of tree-tops a-plunging about, away off yonder in the storm,
hundreds of yards further than you could see before; dark as
sin again in a second, and now you'd hear the thunder let go
with an awful crash and then go rumbling, grumbling, tumbling
down the sky towards the under side of the world, like rolling
empty barrels downstairs, where it's long stairs and they bounce
a good deal, you know."
Gorgeous word painting, and when you consider cave art you
can well assume that Cro-Magnon, who was basically us,
who had the same physiology and the same gab, liked word
painting too, onomatopoetic words, that is. Hypothetical TON
for thunder, then for any sound, survived in many words, for
example ancient Greek tomos for rope, chord, tension, sound,
meter (of a verse), Latin tonitrus tonitrua for thunder, tono for
I thunder, speak with a booming, thundering voice, tonat for
it thunders, Tonans for Jupiter and Saturn, later for any god,
tonus for sound, accent, thunder, French ton for sound, tonner
for to thunder, tonnère for thunder, German Donner for thunder,
Ton for sound.
The German word for thunderstorm is Gewitter. Mark Twain
made fun of Gewitter - what a lame word compared to English
thunderstorm. Even _toothsbrush_ got more experession than
Gewitter, so he generously offered toothbrush to the Germans
as a better word than lame Gewitter ... Well, if Cro-Magnon
was not able to say TON, he may have said TOOTHBRUSH,
and while the Romans worshipped Jupiter and Saturn as
thunder gods in Tonos, Cro-Magnon must have worshipped
a Lord Toothbrush for their thunder god, and you certainly
know that the supreme deity always was the weather god
who made himself heard in thunder ...
Franz Gnaedinger
"Can you hear the thunder, in a little girl's tears
Can mend her broken heart, and soothe all her fears"
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
From "Wings, Prayers and Teddy Bears" song by David Deden,
New Eurekans/Nu Yorikans. DD
Peter T. Daniels
2006-03-21 18:23:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Thank you Nathan Sanders,
That is very interesting ... even exciting. I cannot imagine any lover
of language not being drawn toward understanding this. So, would I be
correct to assume that you don't object to the idea that these late
Paleolithic folks had some sort of verbal communication and that what
you, understandably, object to is that such a proto-language could be
re-constructed or a valid facsimile of that "language" created?
Wow ... please excuse my enthusiasm ....but the field is wild open for
fiction!
Don't you know of the movies *Iceman* and *Quest for Fire*? The language
in one was devised by Anthony Burgess, in the other by Philip Lieberman.
(I don't remember which did which.) (Burgess was a novelist with a
serious interest in language, and Lieberman is a phonetician who has
been a contributor to the evolution-of-language field for many decades.)

Not to mention the dreadful novels by Jean Auel.

And Vardis Fisher wrote a series of novels depicting the progress of
human evolution, the earlier ones of which are relevant.
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
Franz Gnaedinger
2006-03-19 07:53:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nathan Sanders
English five Greek pende Spanish sinko
English two Armenian erku
English hundred Latin kentum French sã
(Funny thing --- these are real, known cognates, but you'll never see
Franz or his ilk propose any supposedly related words that diverge
this drastically. Yet actual linguists can prove that words like this
are cognates, through regular, systematic sound changes.)
Even more drastically, PAS and lot'll, as you shall see.

A couple of weeks ago I consulted this book: Indo-European,
Nostratic, and Beyond, Festschrift for Vitalij Shevoroshkin,
Journal of Indo-Euroepan Studies, Monograph 22, Institute
for the Study of Man, Washington 2005. I do not agree on
the rejection of early clicks, but I was fascinated by the
contribution of one Vaclav Bazek: Indo-European "Seven"
(pages 9-29). There are so many many many many many
many many many similar words for seven ... If there was
a Magdalenian root, I concluded, it must have been SAP.
Then I gave SAP a meaning in space: the four cardinal
directions south and north, east and west, plus the three
levels of height, the ground I stand upon, the depth of the
earth underneath my feet, and the height of the heavenly
vault above me. Latin septem for seven, ancient Greek
sophia for experience, knowledge of the world, wisdom,
philosophy.

One year ago I found my law of Magdalenian inverses.
The inverse form of SAP is PAS, reminding of ancient
Greek pas pan for all, every, penta for five. So I gave
PAS the meaning of everywhere in a plain: here, south
and north of me, east and west of me, and the PAS
ideogram must have been the domino five, a frequent
Mesolithic engraving.

Holly asked me very good questions, directed my
research, and then, one week ago, identified the
domino five in the Brunel chamber of the Chauvet
cave as PAS --- the earliest writing known so far.

Also one week ago I realized that S-forms are
comparatives of D-forms. Hence the words at the
basis of PAS and SAP must have been PAD and DAP
for the activities of feet and hands, of an onomatopoetic
build --- an Aurigniacian woman padding along a polished
limestone river bank, and your love walking over the tiles
of a bathroom produce the same sound, pad pad pad pad ...
English to pad, paddle, paw, German Pfote ... DAP, French
tapper tapoter, English tap, to tap, in my medieval dialect
we have Taape Toepe for hand hands (humorous, inferior,
scolding) ...

Pronounce pad pad pad pad ... silently, without giving
voice. You will sooner or later arrive at pas. Many PAD
yield the comparative PAS, ancient Greek pas pan penta,
Latin quinque, Italian cinque, French cinq, Spanish sinko,
German fuenf, in my medieval dialect foeiv, English five ...
All these forms follow the same pattern: closed, open,
narrow opening and evasion ... A similar pattern is found
in a verse I read a long time ago:

Shake and shake
The ketchup bottle
First there will be none
And then a lot'll

Closed (L), open (O), narrow opening and evasion (T'LL).

In order to understand this pattern you have to consider
life in early times. Nowadays we got roads and highways
and cars, we can go anywhere in no time, whereas they
followed rivers, encountering obstacles over obstacles,
worst of all deep gorges, called pass in early German,
surviving in Engpass for a narrow passage (while the
early word for the way over a mountain top survives in
Austria: Hohe _Tauern_). The leader was the one who
overcame those obstacles, found a way, a passage.
Hence PAS for everywhere, as an ideogram a domino
sign, me in the center, the cardinal directions around me,
one plus four dots, all in all five dots.

When it comes to early language you can't break down
the words to fonems and apply rather mechanical rules.
You have to consider the highly complex processes of
physiological word building and forming and pronouncing,
and to connect them with life in those times, as we know
it via archaeology. Or else you resemble the man in
Sigmund Freud's favorite joke who lost his key by night,
in the dark, and searches for it in the shine of the gas lamp
-- he lost his key over there in the dark, where he can't see,
so he searches for it here, in the shine of the lamp, where
he can see ...

Franz Gnaedinger www.seshat.ch
Holly
2006-03-19 18:00:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Nathan Sanders
English five Greek pende Spanish sinko
English two Armenian erku
English hundred Latin kentum French sã
(Funny thing --- these are real, known cognates, but you'll never see
Franz or his ilk propose any supposedly related words that diverge
this drastically. Yet actual linguists can prove that words like this
are cognates, through regular, systematic sound changes.)
Even more drastically, PAS and lot'll, as you shall see.
A couple of weeks ago I consulted this book: Indo-European,
Nostratic, and Beyond, Festschrift for Vitalij Shevoroshkin,
Journal of Indo-Euroepan Studies, Monograph 22, Institute
for the Study of Man, Washington 2005. I do not agree on
the rejection of early clicks, but I was fascinated by the
contribution of one Vaclav Bazek: Indo-European "Seven"
(pages 9-29). There are so many many many many many
many many many similar words for seven ... If there was
a Magdalenian root, I concluded, it must have been SAP.
Then I gave SAP a meaning in space: the four cardinal
directions south and north, east and west, plus the three
levels of height, the ground I stand upon, the depth of the
earth underneath my feet, and the height of the heavenly
vault above me. Latin septem for seven, ancient Greek
sophia for experience, knowledge of the world, wisdom,
philosophy.
One year ago I found my law of Magdalenian inverses.
The inverse form of SAP is PAS, reminding of ancient
Greek pas pan for all, every, penta for five. So I gave
PAS the meaning of everywhere in a plain: here, south
and north of me, east and west of me, and the PAS
ideogram must have been the domino five, a frequent
Mesolithic engraving.
Holly asked me very good questions, directed my
research, and then, one week ago, identified the
domino five in the Brunel chamber of the Chauvet
cave as PAS --- the earliest writing known so far.
Also one week ago I realized that S-forms are
comparatives of D-forms. Hence the words at the
basis of PAS and SAP must have been PAD and DAP
for the activities of feet and hands, of an onomatopoetic
build --- an Aurigniacian woman padding along a polished
limestone river bank, and your love walking over the tiles
of a bathroom produce the same sound, pad pad pad pad ...
English to pad, paddle, paw, German Pfote ... DAP, French
tapper tapoter, English tap, to tap, in my medieval dialect
we have Taape Toepe for hand hands (humorous, inferior,
scolding) ...
Pronounce pad pad pad pad ... silently, without giving
voice. You will sooner or later arrive at pas. Many PAD
yield the comparative PAS, ancient Greek pas pan penta,
Latin quinque, Italian cinque, French cinq, Spanish sinko,
German fuenf, in my medieval dialect foeiv, English five ...
All these forms follow the same pattern: closed, open,
narrow opening and evasion ... A similar pattern is found
Shake and shake
The ketchup bottle
First there will be none
And then a lot'll
Closed (L), open (O), narrow opening and evasion (T'LL).
In order to understand this pattern you have to consider
life in early times. Nowadays we got roads and highways
and cars, we can go anywhere in no time, whereas they
followed rivers, encountering obstacles over obstacles,
worst of all deep gorges, called pass in early German,
surviving in Engpass for a narrow passage (while the
early word for the way over a mountain top survives in
Austria: Hohe _Tauern_). The leader was the one who
overcame those obstacles, found a way, a passage.
Hence PAS for everywhere, as an ideogram a domino
sign, me in the center, the cardinal directions around me,
one plus four dots, all in all five dots.
When it comes to early language you can't break down
the words to fonems and apply rather mechanical rules.
You have to consider the highly complex processes of
physiological word building and forming and pronouncing,
and to connect them with life in those times, as we know
it via archaeology. Or else you resemble the man in
Sigmund Freud's favorite joke who lost his key by night,
in the dark, and searches for it in the shine of the gas lamp
-- he lost his key over there in the dark, where he can't see,
so he searches for it here, in the shine of the lamp, where
he can see ...
Point well made. Good tale and actually, Dr. Freud borrowed this tale
from the Sufis.

http://www.nasruddin.org/pages/storylist.html
Franz Gnaedinger
2006-03-20 07:12:13 UTC
Permalink
Killraters: you are enhancing my work, I wouldn't proceed
at such a quick pace if it weren't for you.

Alan: the development of our language came to a halt some
eight hundred years ago, thus it became a dialect. For
example we have no proper past. Our past forms are built
in a funny way. I saege --- I say. I ha gsait --- I have said
for I said. I gang --- I go. I bi ggange --- I am gone for I went.

Holly: the aorist of ancient Greek is an infinitive in the past
tense. Each language got pecularities you understand best
by learning the language. The only thing all languages have
in common are nouns and verbs, and even they can be
convertible. In English you can turn nouns into verbs,
Google as noun means the company, google as verb
means to use their search engine, to google for ... In my
experimental reconstruction of Magdalenian the same word
can serve as noun and verb. The imperative is obtained by
doubling a word. SAI for life, existence, for to live and be.
SAI SAI for be it so, granted. I don't know yet how to form
the past, will try it in the way of my medieval dialect (see
above, my reply to Alan).
Post by Franz Gnaedinger
Post by Nathan Sanders
English five Greek pende Spanish sinko
English two Armenian erku
English hundred Latin kentum French sã
(Funny thing --- these are real, known cognates, but you'll never see
Franz or his ilk propose any supposedly related words that diverge
this drastically. Yet actual linguists can prove that words like this
are cognates, through regular, systematic sound changes.)
Even more drastically, PAS and lot'll, as you shall see.
A couple of weeks ago I consulted this book: Indo-European,
Nostratic, and Beyond, Festschrift for Vitalij Shevoroshkin,
Journal of Indo-Euroepan Studies, Monograph 22, Institute
for the Study of Man, Washington 2005. I do not agree on
the rejection of early clicks, but I was fascinated by the
contribution of one Vaclav Bazek: Indo-European "Seven"
(pages 9-29). There are so many many many many many
many many many similar words for seven ... If there was
a Magdalenian root, I concluded, it must have been SAP.
Then I gave SAP a meaning in space: the four cardinal
directions south and north, east and west, plus the three
levels of height, the ground I stand upon, the depth of the
earth underneath my feet, and the height of the heavenly
vault above me. Latin septem for seven, ancient Greek
sophia for experience, knowledge of the world, wisdom,
philosophy.
One year ago I found my law of Magdalenian inverses.
The inverse form of SAP is PAS, reminding of ancient
Greek pas pan for all, every, penta for five. So I gave
PAS the meaning of everywhere in a plain: here, south
and north of me, east and west of me, and the PAS
ideogram must have been the domino five, a frequent
Mesolithic engraving.
Holly asked me very good questions, directed my
research, and then, one week ago, identified the
domino five in the Brunel chamber of the Chauvet
cave as PAS --- the earliest writing known so far.
Also one week ago I realized that S-forms are
comparatives of D-forms. Hence the words at the
basis of PAS and SAP must have been PAD and DAP
for the activities of feet and hands, of an onomatopoetic
build --- an Aurigniacian woman padding along a polished
limestone river bank, and your love walking over the tiles
of a bathroom produce the same sound, pad pad pad pad ...
English to pad, paddle, paw, German Pfote ... DAP, French
tapper tapoter, English tap, to tap, in my medieval dialect
we have Taape Toepe for hand hands (humorous, inferior,
scolding) ...
Pronounce pad pad pad pad ... silently, without giving
voice. You will sooner or later arrive at pas. Many PAD
yield the comparative PAS, ancient Greek pas pan penta,
Latin quinque, Italian cinque, French cinq, Spanish sinko,
German fuenf, in my medieval dialect foeiv, English five ...
All these forms follow the same pattern: closed, open,
narrow opening and evasion ... A similar pattern is found
Shake and shake
The ketchup bottle
First there will be none
And then a lot'll
Closed (L), open (O), narrow opening and evasion (T'LL).
In order to understand this pattern you have to consider
life in early times. Nowadays we got roads and highways
and cars, we can go anywhere in no time, whereas they
followed rivers, encountering obstacles over obstacles,
worst of all deep gorges, called pass in early German,
surviving in Engpass for a narrow passage (while the
early word for the way over a mountain top survives in
Austria: Hohe _Tauern_). The leader was the one who
overcame those obstacles, found a way, a passage.
Hence PAS for everywhere, as an ideogram a domino
sign, me in the center, the cardinal directions around me,
one plus four dots, all in all five dots.
When it comes to early language you can't break down
the words to fonems and apply rather mechanical rules.
You have to consider the highly complex processes of
physiological word building and forming and pronouncing,
and to connect them with life in those times, as we know
it via archaeology. Or else you resemble the man in
Sigmund Freud's favorite joke who lost his key by night,
in the dark, and searches for it in the shine of the gas lamp
-- he lost his key over there in the dark, where he can't see,
so he searches for it here, in the shine of the lamp, where
he can see ...
Franz Gnaedinger www.seshat.ch
Peter T. Daniels
2006-03-21 18:17:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Thank you for clarifying this. I am trying not to continue the
sarcastic tit for tat so I will limit my comments to the positive. I
would very much like to learn > by way of a reference< how you think
they communicated. I am hopeful that the texts suggested here will
address that.
There is no reason to suppose that all anatomically modern humans (which
certainly includes the Aurignacians and Magdalenians you've mentioned)
didn't speak languages no different in principle than any language
spoken today (which means, incidentally, that they didn't form words by
permuting the sounds in any one syllable!).

To take out the triple negatives, language at that time was like
language today.

But, given the attested variety in the world's languages, there's no way
of guessing which particular features any individual Aur. or Mag.
language might have had.
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
Peter T. Daniels
2006-03-21 18:05:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Let's see. I have asked for an explanation, but so far I am still
waiting. I am not a linguist. I have clearly stated that I write
fiction. Are you an expert in this matter? I wonder. .... because I
know something of logic and am waiting for a logical disputation of
ur-languages --proto languages. I want to hear why you think that the
late Paleolithic people did not communicate with each other.
Where did anyone say they didn't communicate with each other?
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
John Atkinson
2006-03-18 08:06:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
< The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a
function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains. >
Interesting. It occurs to me, that this is the very era when Homo
Neanderthalis and Sapiens were in contact, and therefore sharing
traditions. Quite often we've seen since how, when two cultures meet, a
new art form emerged.
And as for religion, the earliest evidence I know of, of religion, is
the Shanidar Iraq grave where a crippled shamen was ritually buried
with flowers and seven important medicinal herbs. 52,000 years ago. The
shaman was a Neanderthal.
So, it would seem *Neanderthals* invented religion.
In response to our observation above, I object to the word "invent."
Here's an idea. I think it is mine of course..... but others ... I am
sure have thought the same thing ... how apropos. Did that ever happen
before? <sarcasm> <not directed at you>
Fact: 32 kya artists painted in a similar style and with a similar
skill as those who painted 13 kya. Examples: Chauvet Cave and Lascaux.
We do not question this fact instead we re-align our concept of late
Paleolithic "man" to a more capable being .... one who was part of a
system of oral transmission of .. Oh, I forgot, they could not speak
... okay ... of non-oral transmission of ideas of how to make their
medium ... charcoal and red ochre and yellow ochre and how to prepare
the cave walls for painting and how to shade and how to blow paint and
about perspective and line and artistic quality..... Could this have
been transmitted instinctually? Anyway... sticking to fact. Separated
by 20ky two almost exact methods of representational art exist within
close geographical proximity of each other. Now I am going to take this
great big huge irrational jump and suggest ... even though there is no
acceptable evidence to back this up, that just maybe it is possible
that folks who could paint as they did in the Chauvet Cave 32kya, could
communicate and that this communication was passed down or up or over
... however one wishes to express it ... for twenty thousand years ...
to those artists who painted the parietal art in Lascaux Caves ... Of
course we believe they were with language at that time.
I know nothing about European paleolithic art. However, I do know a little
bit about Australian rock art, the oldest manifestations of which are much
earlier than 32 kya (39700+/-1000 BP at Carpenter's Gap in the Kimberley is
the oldest firm date AFAIK -- 40 000 being the effective maximum for carbon
dating). It is still being practised today in some locations. Whether the
Australians were more, or less, "artistic" or "skillful" than the Europeans
is not an argument I'm equipped to enter into. However, I would like to
point out that, in Australia, styles vary in both time and space, as one
would expect. In Arnhem Land, for example, the following major periods are
recognised:

Panaramitee Tradition engravings (oldest, perhaps 60 000 BP)
Grass and hand prints
Stencils
Large naturalistic figures
(all these prior to 15 000 BP)
Dynamic figures (Mimi)
Intermediate phase (>9000-6000 BP)
Recent phase (6000-3000 BP)
Freshwater period (X-Ray Art) (3000 BP to present)

Several hundred km to the west, in the Kimberley, two spectacular styles
unique to the area occur, the Bradshaw figures (probably > 10 000 BP), and
the Wandjina figures (still being painted today)

If the Australian situation can be used to shed light on Europe, one would
conclude that it's *very* unlikely that a style could be maintained
unchanged for 19 000 years. Either it's pure coincidence that the later
artists developed a style similar to the old ones, or (just possibly) they
found the old paintings and intentionally copied them.

John.
Holly
2006-03-18 14:29:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Atkinson
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
< The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a
function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains. >
Interesting. It occurs to me, that this is the very era when Homo
Neanderthalis and Sapiens were in contact, and therefore sharing
traditions. Quite often we've seen since how, when two cultures meet, a
new art form emerged.
And as for religion, the earliest evidence I know of, of religion, is
the Shanidar Iraq grave where a crippled shamen was ritually buried
with flowers and seven important medicinal herbs. 52,000 years ago. The
shaman was a Neanderthal.
So, it would seem *Neanderthals* invented religion.
In response to our observation above, I object to the word "invent."
Here's an idea. I think it is mine of course..... but others ... I am
sure have thought the same thing ... how apropos. Did that ever happen
before? <sarcasm> <not directed at you>
Fact: 32 kya artists painted in a similar style and with a similar
skill as those who painted 13 kya. Examples: Chauvet Cave and Lascaux.
We do not question this fact instead we re-align our concept of late
Paleolithic "man" to a more capable being .... one who was part of a
system of oral transmission of .. Oh, I forgot, they could not speak
... okay ... of non-oral transmission of ideas of how to make their
medium ... charcoal and red ochre and yellow ochre and how to prepare
the cave walls for painting and how to shade and how to blow paint and
about perspective and line and artistic quality..... Could this have
been transmitted instinctually? Anyway... sticking to fact. Separated
by 20ky two almost exact methods of representational art exist within
close geographical proximity of each other. Now I am going to take this
great big huge irrational jump and suggest ... even though there is no
acceptable evidence to back this up, that just maybe it is possible
that folks who could paint as they did in the Chauvet Cave 32kya, could
communicate and that this communication was passed down or up or over
... however one wishes to express it ... for twenty thousand years ...
to those artists who painted the parietal art in Lascaux Caves ... Of
course we believe they were with language at that time.
I know nothing about European paleolithic art. However, I do know a little
bit about Australian rock art, the oldest manifestations of which are much
earlier than 32 kya (39700+/-1000 BP at Carpenter's Gap in the Kimberley is
the oldest firm date AFAIK -- 40 000 being the effective maximum for carbon
dating). It is still being practised today in some locations. Whether the
Australians were more, or less, "artistic" or "skillful" than the Europeans
is not an argument I'm equipped to enter into. However, I would like to
point out that, in Australia, styles vary in both time and space, as one
would expect. In Arnhem Land, for example, the following major periods are
Panaramitee Tradition engravings (oldest, perhaps 60 000 BP)
Grass and hand prints
Stencils
Large naturalistic figures
(all these prior to 15 000 BP)
Dynamic figures (Mimi)
Intermediate phase (>9000-6000 BP)
Recent phase (6000-3000 BP)
Freshwater period (X-Ray Art) (3000 BP to present)
Several hundred km to the west, in the Kimberley, two spectacular styles
unique to the area occur, the Bradshaw figures (probably > 10 000 BP), and
the Wandjina figures (still being painted today)
If the Australian situation can be used to shed light on Europe, one would
conclude that it's *very* unlikely that a style could be maintained
unchanged for 19 000 years. Either it's pure coincidence that the later
artists developed a style similar to the old ones, or (just possibly) they
found the old paintings and intentionally copied them.
John.
John,
Your post had the effect of me slapping my forehead claiming to myself,
"Why didn't I think of that?" In my defense, I've read a good deal on
the subject but have not seen it suggested by other experts. I will
pursue this vein. Thanks.
Holly
Franz Gnaedinger
2006-03-20 15:44:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Atkinson
I know nothing about European paleolithic art. However, I do know a little
bit about Australian rock art, the oldest manifestations of which are much
earlier than 32 kya (39700+/-1000 BP at Carpenter's Gap in the Kimberley is
the oldest firm date AFAIK -- 40 000 being the effective maximum for carbon
dating). It is still being practised today in some locations. Whether the
Australians were more, or less, "artistic" or "skillful" than the Europeans
is not an argument I'm equipped to enter into. However, I would like to
point out that, in Australia, styles vary in both time and space, as one
would expect. In Arnhem Land, for example, the following major periods are
Panaramitee Tradition engravings (oldest, perhaps 60 000 BP)
Grass and hand prints
Stencils
Large naturalistic figures
(all these prior to 15 000 BP)
Dynamic figures (Mimi)
Intermediate phase (>9000-6000 BP)
Recent phase (6000-3000 BP)
Freshwater period (X-Ray Art) (3000 BP to present)
Several hundred km to the west, in the Kimberley, two spectacular styles
unique to the area occur, the Bradshaw figures (probably > 10 000 BP), and
the Wandjina figures (still being painted today)
If the Australian situation can be used to shed light on Europe, one would
conclude that it's *very* unlikely that a style could be maintained
unchanged for 19 000 years. Either it's pure coincidence that the later
artists developed a style similar to the old ones, or (just possibly) they
found the old paintings and intentionally copied them.
John.
You say that you understand nothing of European
Paleolithic art. Well, I appreciate your honesty.
Please don't believe that European rock art was
uniform. There was the bison man in the Aurigniacian
(Chauvet cave), a coexistence of the bison man and
the birdman in the Magdalenium (Lascaux), the woolly
rhino was the goddess of giving and taking life in the
Magdalenium (Marie E.P. Koenig), and there was
the bird goddess as the cosmic giver of life. Recently
I had the pleasure to see a good replica of the Venus
from Lespugue: looks very different than in print, her
head evokes a bird's head, her arms resemble wings,
her body are egg pockets ... The bird prevailed in the
Mesolithic, in the Neolithic, and in the Vinca culture
of the Balkans. Pictures disapperead by the end of
the Magdalenium and gave way to geometric rock
engravings in caves of the Ile de France (Paris and
region around it). And so on. Yet basic features and
ideas persisted through all the changes.

European rock art is closely related to rock art in
Southern Arfrica, although the two populations were
separated from each other at least 70,000 years ago.
According to the traditional view, Homo sapiens sapiens
left Africa some 100,000 years ago. According to a new
study a group of some 200 or perhaps only 70 people left
Africa 70,000 years ago for the shores of Arabia and India.
Their successors reached Spain some 42,000 years ago.
The Aurigniacians, Perigordians and Magdalenians are from
their stock. Now parietal art in Southern Africa and Western
Europe share a telling feature: animals that apparently come
out of a crack in the stone -- a very prominent feature known
to all experts of ancient rock art. Jean Clottes, an eminent
authority on Paleolithic art, was recently in Zurich and held
a lecture to a psychological audience. He showed marvellous
pictures he had taken himself from animals that seem to
emanate from cracks in the rock, or from niches at the end
of a gangway. The very same is found in the art of the bush
people in southern Africa. These populations were sperated
from each other at least 70,000 years ago, but they shared
the same basic belief in a beyond that can be accessed by
a shaman in a trance, whereby the beyond is in the sky, but
also in the rock, inside a well, or deep inside us. The same
holds for Australia, were shamans got access to the beyond
in rocks and wells. The basic features of rock art are the same,
although the styles vary greatly.

You find hands on rock and cave walls in Southern Africa,
in Australia, and in Western Europe. According to Jean Clottes
they have the very same meaning everywhere: getting in touch
with the beyond. In my opinion these are star hands and claim
a place in heaven, in the beyond, a second life among the stars,
more precisely among the stasrs of the SummerTriangle, Atair
(alpha Aquilae), Deneb (alpha Cygni), Vega (alpha Lyrae).

Hints at the Summer triangle are found in the Chauvet cave,
in the Lascaux cave (Michael Rappenglueck), in Carnac, and
on Celtic coins, so the idea of a resurrection among the stars
of the Summer Triangle - "in heaven" - persisted for at least
30,000 years.

Regards Franz Gnaedinger
Peter T. Daniels
2006-03-21 18:26:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Atkinson
point out that, in Australia, styles vary in both time and space, as one
would expect. In Arnhem Land, for example, the following major periods are
Panaramitee Tradition engravings (oldest, perhaps 60 000 BP)
60,000???

That's 50% longer ago than any date I've seen before for the settlement
of Australia. Where did the additional 20,000 years come from?
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
John Atkinson
2006-03-22 02:01:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by John Atkinson
point out that, in Australia, styles vary in both time and space, as one
would expect. In Arnhem Land, for example, the following major periods are
Panaramitee Tradition engravings (oldest, perhaps 60 000 BP)
60,000???
That's 50% longer ago than any date I've seen before for the settlement
of Australia. Where did the additional 20,000 years come from?
Everyone has different opinions on the validity of the earliest dates that
have been proposed for Australia.

As you know, carbon dating is pretty hopeless pre -40 ky, although recently
accelerator mass spectrometry has improved this, and it also allows the
direct dating of fine organic matter in the crust over rock paintings.
However, AFAIK, the oldest rock art date from this is -25 ky. Older rock
art dates that are quoted have all been based on their association with
other things, such as hearths, rockfalls, etc

Trapped electron resonance techniques (electron spin resonance and
luminescence methods) are not limited to the last 40 ky, but are still in
their trial stages. They have been well calibrated against radio-carbon
back to -37 ky. Nevertheless, the many claims that have been made for dates
of 50-60 ky BP or older are not universally accepted.

Pollen records seem to show that the fire regime in many places changes
abruptly, in ways suggestive of human burning-off activity, at dates which
range from -60 ky to -100 ky.

A skull fragment at Willandra Lakes has been "suspected" to be "more than 50
000 years old", based mostly on degree of mineralisation.

The big megafauna extinctions come at various dates, most much younger
than -40 ky. Seems there was no single thousand-year-or-less blitzkrieg,
like in the Americas.

"60 000 years" in a nice round figure that has been generally accepted by
the media and by aborigines themselves. Seems to me that it's about as
likely as any, at this stage in the game.

John.
Day Brown
2006-03-19 03:47:21 UTC
Permalink
I dont get emotional about the lines of text on this screen. They are
just pixels, and neither praise nor condemnation garners my attention.
I can see where those lacking the scholarship or reason do get upset,
but even then, sometimes I learn something from the rants.

Regarding the Chinese, I didnt know they lacked verb tenses. But this
stands in sharp contrast to Tocharian which has the most extensive
system of tense and case that I've every read about. "IT depends on
what the meaning of is, is" would not have worked in Tocharian; tense
and case were always clear. I dont read Tocharian, I'm still reading
about it, and there is much to consider.

P61, Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology, Douglas
Adams:"4.23, THE ENDINGS OF THE IMPERATIVE. The normal second person
singlular imperative in Proto-Indo-European was the bare stem, while
the second person plural was the bare stem plus *-te (just as in the
indicative). Thus we might have *es(te) 'be!' or *age(te) 'lead!'. Such
imperative have almost disappeared in Tocharian being replaced by
modalized perfects or aorists."

He goes on to outline it, noting that what Tocharian has left is stuff
like "pick me up!" or "Give me!" the kind of thing kids say to moms.
From what Adams has to say, it seems impossible to translate the Ten
Commandments into Tocharian because there aint no word for "Shalt".

Which gets to the issue you raise about what can be communicated. Some
people just dont get it. But some things get handed down forever. Which
fits with what neurologist Ramachandran has to say about pattern
recognition algorithms in the occipital lobes.

The most remarkable example I know of has to do with a cave in Europe
that they found a large clay model of a bear with the remnants of a
bear skin that once covered it still there. Along with a bear skull
with the bear femurs thrust thru the eye sockets. Then a friend showed
me an anthro book on the Ainu, who still worshiped the great bear god.

They would capture a bear cub in spring; the women would nurse it at
the breast, and when mature, it was sacrificed to carry messages from
the tribe into the spirit world. After that ritual, there's another in
which the bear skin is draped over a bear model, and on the floor
infront of the shrine, they place a bear skull with the crossed femurs
thrust into the eye sockets. something like 30,000 years later.

We see the variety in instinctive behavior patterns among dogs, which
tho they vary more than the hominids in size, shape, color and
intelligence, nonetheless are all the same species. FMRI brain scans
are being used by neurologists like Ramachandran to outline some of the
pattern software that we see manifest as art.

We also see the unwarrented dismissibility of modern hominids wanting
to think of themselves as the 'sons of god' and different from all
other animals, and how that too is an instinctive behavior pattern of
alpha males.
Holly
2006-03-19 16:12:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
I dont get emotional about the lines of text on this screen. They are
just pixels, and neither praise nor condemnation garners my attention.
I can see where those lacking the scholarship or reason do get upset,
but even then, sometimes I learn something from the rants.
Regarding the Chinese, I didnt know they lacked verb tenses. But this
stands in sharp contrast to Tocharian which has the most extensive
system of tense and case that I've every read about. "IT depends on
what the meaning of is, is" would not have worked in Tocharian; tense
and case were always clear. I dont read Tocharian, I'm still reading
about it, and there is much to consider.
P61, Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology, Douglas
Adams:"4.23, THE ENDINGS OF THE IMPERATIVE. The normal second person
singlular imperative in Proto-Indo-European was the bare stem, while
the second person plural was the bare stem plus *-te (just as in the
indicative). Thus we might have *es(te) 'be!' or *age(te) 'lead!'. Such
imperative have almost disappeared in Tocharian being replaced by
modalized perfects or aorists."
"Aorists" even after looking up the term in Wikipedia is a difficult
grammatical aspect for me to understand. I will need to do further
reading on that. Maybe Franz who knows Ancient Greek might shed some
light on this time descriptor for me.
Post by Day Brown
He goes on to outline it, noting that what Tocharian has left is stuff
like "pick me up!" or "Give me!" the kind of thing kids say to moms.
From what Adams has to say, it seems impossible to translate the Ten
Commandments into Tocharian because there aint no word for "Shalt".
Which gets to the issue you raise about what can be communicated. Some
people just dont get it. But some things get handed down forever. Which
fits with what neurologist Ramachandran has to say about pattern
recognition algorithms in the occipital lobes.
The most remarkable example I know of has to do with a cave in Europe
that they found a large clay model of a bear with the remnants of a
bear skin that once covered it still there. Along with a bear skull
with the bear femurs thrust thru the eye sockets. Then a friend showed
me an anthro book on the Ainu, who still worshiped the great bear god.
They would capture a bear cub in spring; the women would nurse it at
the breast, and when mature, it was sacrificed to carry messages from
the tribe into the spirit world. After that ritual, there's another in
which the bear skin is draped over a bear model, and on the floor
infront of the shrine, they place a bear skull with the crossed femurs
thrust into the eye sockets. something like 30,000 years later.
We see the variety in instinctive behavior patterns among dogs, which
tho they vary more than the hominids in size, shape, color and
intelligence, nonetheless are all the same species. FMRI brain scans
are being used by neurologists like Ramachandran to outline some of the
pattern software that we see manifest as art.
We also see the unwarrented dismissibility of modern hominids wanting
to think of themselves as the 'sons of god' and different from all
other animals, and how that too is an instinctive behavior pattern of
alpha males.
Day Brown,

I love the internet! It has got to be the best thing for humanity
since the Paleolithic diet <G>.

Yes ... I recall being very impressed with Dr. Ramachandran's work and
am glad to you brought his studies to my attention again. I provide
here an easy access website for any who might be interested.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/lectures.shtml

It seems to me that without the enthuiastic cooperation of individuals
from "separate" fields of study, the impact of the descriptive sciences
on human development might be asymetrical, divergent and Medusa-like.

Thanks for your input.

Holly
Neeraj Mathur
2006-03-19 18:01:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
P61, Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology, Douglas
Adams:"4.23, THE ENDINGS OF THE IMPERATIVE. The normal second person
singlular imperative in Proto-Indo-European was the bare stem, while
the second person plural was the bare stem plus *-te (just as in the
indicative). Thus we might have *es(te) 'be!' or *age(te) 'lead!'. Such
imperative have almost disappeared in Tocharian being replaced by
modalized perfects or aorists."
"Aorists" even after looking up the term in Wikipedia is a difficult
grammatical aspect for me to understand. I will need to do further
reading on that.
An 'aorist' is basically just a past tense; in many other languages it's
called a 'preterite'. In describing Ancient Greek the name 'aorist' is used;
it was then used for the morphologically identical past tense in Sanskrit
(even though the function of it as an aorist - see below - is there less
evident) and for the reconstructed morphological category for Indo-European;
from there, any other IE languages which show a reflex of that morphology
calls it an 'aorist'.

Technically, within Ancient Greek, the aorist contrasts with two other
past-type tenses. It contrasts, first, with the perfect in the following
way: the reference point for the aorist is at the same time as the action
but before the moment of speech, while the reference point for the perfect
is at the same time as the moment of speech, and comes after the action
described. In this sense, the Greek aorist functions like the English simple
past or the past with 'did', while the Greek perfect functions like the
English perfect with 'have':

1) I went to the fair yesterday.
2) I have gone to the fair already.

This is a tense difference; the Greek aorist also differs from another
'tense', the imperfect, not in time but in aspect. The imperfect is also a
past tense with the reference point at the moment of the action and before
the speech act. The difference between the imperfect and the aorist is that
the imperfect is progressive, while the aorist is punctual. You can think of
the imperfect being like a video, while the aorist is more of a snapshot. In
this way, the Greek imperfect can be compared with the English past
progressive with 'was', while again the aorist is the simple past:

2) I went to the fair yesterday (aorist).
3) I was going to the fair yesterday, when... (progressive).

I hope that clears things up; if you want, I'm writing a little more here on
what I mean by reference points in theories of tense; you can skip the rest
of this message if you think you've got a handle on it.
_____________________________

Tense can basically be considered to be a way of associating two things, an
event or action, and a speech-act. If we correlate these directly (using a
hypen to indicate progression of time, and a comma to indicate things that
are simultaneous, 'e' for the event, and 's' for the speech-act), we get a
system with three tenses:
1. e - s
2. e,s
3. s - e

This would enable us to discuss a language which has only three tenses, a
past, a present, and a future respectively. This could, arguably, be
considered the tense system of Classical Sanskrit, where all of the
morphologically distinct past forms (imperfect, aorist, perfect) have no
distinction in meaning.

However, to describe English, Greek, or the Romance languages, this system
is not adequate. We get a system that works a little better if we introduce
one further variable, the reference point (r):

1. present: e,r,s ('I do' or 'I am doing' in English)
2. future: s - e,r ('I will do')
3. immediate future: s,r - e ('I am going to do', maybe - not sure if this
is distinguished from 'will' in English)
4. aorist/preterite/imperfect: e,r - s ('I did' or 'I was doing' in English)
5. perfect (aka 'present perfect'): e - r,s ('I have done')
6. pluperfect (aka 'past perfect'): e - r - s ('I had done')
7*. future perfect: s - e - r ('I will have done')

I have given an asterisk on the future perfect because in many languages,
including much Romance and perhaps English, this is not the sole description
of the future perfect. (s,e - r) and (e - s - r) are equally possible - for
instance, 'Paul will be starting university in September, so he will have
finished high school last summer' is a future perfect ('will have') but is
(e - s - r) by our theory of tense. This theoretical structure would force
us to recognise three separate tenses that just happen to have the same
appearance - for every one of these languages!

A solution was found when it was proposed (I can't remember by whom) that
tense be described with no relationship direclty between e and s at all, but
simply having both in a relationship with r:

1. present (s,r)(e,r)
2. future: (s - r)(e,r)
3. immediate future: (s,r)(r - e)
4. aorist/preterite/imperfect: (r-s)(e,r)
5. present perfect: (r,s)(e - r)
6. past perfect: (r - s)(e- r)
7. future perfect: (s - r)(e - r)

This theory works rather well.

Additionally, it has been noticed (by Coseriu was it?) that for Romance,
every tense that has (e,r) is 'synthetic' or has its own inflected endings
added directly (in Spanish for the verb cantar 'to sing', going down the
list: present 'canto', future 'cantaré', preterite 'canté', imperfect
'cantaba'), while all those in which e and r are not simultaneous, having
either (e-r) or (r-e), are 'periphrastic' or form the tense with auxiliary
verbs (in Spanish again, immediate future 'voy a cantar', present perfect
'hé cantado', past perfect 'había canatado', future perfect 'habré
cantado'). This is claimed by some to have some kind of mystic significance
for child language acquisition - I just think it's kinda nifty.

Neeraj Mathur
Holly
2006-03-19 19:20:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neeraj Mathur
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
P61, Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology, Douglas
Adams:"4.23, THE ENDINGS OF THE IMPERATIVE. The normal second person
singlular imperative in Proto-Indo-European was the bare stem, while
the second person plural was the bare stem plus *-te (just as in the
indicative). Thus we might have *es(te) 'be!' or *age(te) 'lead!'. Such
imperative have almost disappeared in Tocharian being replaced by
modalized perfects or aorists."
"Aorists" even after looking up the term in Wikipedia is a difficult
grammatical aspect for me to understand. I will need to do further
reading on that.
An 'aorist' is basically just a past tense; in many other languages it's
called a 'preterite'. In describing Ancient Greek the name 'aorist' is used;
it was then used for the morphologically identical past tense in Sanskrit
(even though the function of it as an aorist - see below - is there less
evident) and for the reconstructed morphological category for Indo-European;
from there, any other IE languages which show a reflex of that morphology
calls it an 'aorist'.
Technically, within Ancient Greek, the aorist contrasts with two other
past-type tenses. It contrasts, first, with the perfect in the following
way: the reference point for the aorist is at the same time as the action
but before the moment of speech, while the reference point for the perfect
is at the same time as the moment of speech, and comes after the action
described. In this sense, the Greek aorist functions like the English simple
past or the past with 'did', while the Greek perfect functions like the
1) I went to the fair yesterday.
2) I have gone to the fair already.
This is a tense difference; the Greek aorist also differs from another
'tense', the imperfect, not in time but in aspect. The imperfect is also a
past tense with the reference point at the moment of the action and before
the speech act. The difference between the imperfect and the aorist is that
the imperfect is progressive, while the aorist is punctual. You can think of
the imperfect being like a video, while the aorist is more of a snapshot. In
this way, the Greek imperfect can be compared with the English past
2) I went to the fair yesterday (aorist).
3) I was going to the fair yesterday, when... (progressive).
I hope that clears things up; if you want, I'm writing a little more here on
what I mean by reference points in theories of tense; you can skip the rest
of this message if you think you've got a handle on it.
_____________________________
Tense can basically be considered to be a way of associating two things, an
event or action, and a speech-act. If we correlate these directly (using a
hypen to indicate progression of time, and a comma to indicate things that
are simultaneous, 'e' for the event, and 's' for the speech-act), we get a
1. e - s
2. e,s
3. s - e
This would enable us to discuss a language which has only three tenses, a
past, a present, and a future respectively. This could, arguably, be
considered the tense system of Classical Sanskrit, where all of the
morphologically distinct past forms (imperfect, aorist, perfect) have no
distinction in meaning.
However, to describe English, Greek, or the Romance languages, this system
is not adequate. We get a system that works a little better if we introduce
1. present: e,r,s ('I do' or 'I am doing' in English)
2. future: s - e,r ('I will do')
3. immediate future: s,r - e ('I am going to do', maybe - not sure if this
is distinguished from 'will' in English)
4. aorist/preterite/imperfect: e,r - s ('I did' or 'I was doing' in English)
5. perfect (aka 'present perfect'): e - r,s ('I have done')
6. pluperfect (aka 'past perfect'): e - r - s ('I had done')
7*. future perfect: s - e - r ('I will have done')
I have given an asterisk on the future perfect because in many languages,
including much Romance and perhaps English, this is not the sole description
of the future perfect. (s,e - r) and (e - s - r) are equally possible - for
instance, 'Paul will be starting university in September, so he will have
finished high school last summer' is a future perfect ('will have') but is
(e - s - r) by our theory of tense. This theoretical structure would force
us to recognise three separate tenses that just happen to have the same
appearance - for every one of these languages!
A solution was found when it was proposed (I can't remember by whom) that
tense be described with no relationship direclty between e and s at all, but
1. present (s,r)(e,r)
2. future: (s - r)(e,r)
3. immediate future: (s,r)(r - e)
4. aorist/preterite/imperfect: (r-s)(e,r)
5. present perfect: (r,s)(e - r)
6. past perfect: (r - s)(e- r)
7. future perfect: (s - r)(e - r)
This theory works rather well.
Additionally, it has been noticed (by Coseriu was it?) that for Romance,
every tense that has (e,r) is 'synthetic' or has its own inflected endings
added directly (in Spanish for the verb cantar 'to sing', going down the
list: present 'canto', future 'cantaré', preterite 'canté', imperfect
'cantaba'), while all those in which e and r are not simultaneous, having
either (e-r) or (r-e), are 'periphrastic' or form the tense with auxiliary
verbs (in Spanish again, immediate future 'voy a cantar', present perfect
'hé cantado', past perfect 'había canatado', future perfect 'habré
cantado'). This is claimed by some to have some kind of mystic significance
for child language acquisition - I just think it's kinda nifty.
Neeraj Mathur
I was doing fine with all this .... until I remembered how little I
know ... and just how little I will ever know ... I would have been
happy to remain deluded ... having barred my awareness from this truth
... until I inadvertently became aware ... It had to be inevitable ....
having been so full of the little that I would be too little for it
all. ;-)

Thanks ... It is nifty.
Holly
Joachim Pense
2006-03-19 21:06:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Neeraj Mathur
An 'aorist' is basically just a past tense;
I trust (by knowledge of many well-informed postings of you) that this is a
deliberate simplification - you certainly know that Aorist is basically a
perfective aspect and not a past tense. You clarify the situation later in
your discussion, but I just cannot leave this first line stand uncommented.
Post by Neeraj Mathur
A solution was found when it was proposed (I can't remember by whom) that
Would that be Comrie?
Post by Neeraj Mathur
tense be described with no relationship direclty between e and s at all,
Joachim
Neeraj Mathur
2006-03-20 09:01:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joachim Pense
Post by Neeraj Mathur
An 'aorist' is basically just a past tense;
I trust (by knowledge of many well-informed postings of you) that this is a
deliberate simplification - you certainly know that Aorist is basically a
perfective aspect and not a past tense. You clarify the situation later in
your discussion, but I just cannot leave this first line stand
uncommented.
The finite forms of the aorist are a past tense with perfective aspect
(while the finite forms of the perfect are a present tense with perfective
aspect). The non-finite forms - infinitive, participles, etc. - contrast
with the present in having perfective aspect, without (necessarily) having
any past significance.

Thus, for an active participle, Greek has a three-way distinction between
present (leipo:n, lu:o:n), aorist (lipo:n, lu:sa:s) and perfect (leloipo:s,
leluko:s). The first two contrast in aspect primarily (sometimes in tense as
well); the third from those other two by tense in that the event occurred
before the refernce point, which is concurrent with the speech-act.

Neeraj Mathur
Neeraj Mathur
2006-03-20 09:51:51 UTC
Permalink
(Sorry to some if you're seeing this twice - the message I'm replying to
apparently had follow-ups only to sci.anthropology.paleo, which meant that I
didn't see my own message in the group I'm watching this thread from,
sci.lang. Since it is a linguistic topic rather than a paleo-anthropological
one, I'm setting follow-ups to this message to only sci.lang - is this what
Joachim wanted to do in the first place?)
Post by Joachim Pense
Post by Neeraj Mathur
An 'aorist' is basically just a past tense;
I trust (by knowledge of many well-informed postings of you) that this is a
deliberate simplification - you certainly know that Aorist is basically a
perfective aspect and not a past tense. You clarify the situation later in
your discussion, but I just cannot leave this first line stand
uncommented.
The finite forms of the aorist are a past tense with perfective aspect
(while the finite forms of the perfect are a present tense with perfective
aspect). The non-finite forms - infinitive, participles, etc. - contrast
with the present in having perfective aspect, without (necessarily) having
any past significance.

Thus, for an active participle, Greek has a three-way distinction between
present (leipo:n, lu:o:n), aorist (lipo:n, lu:sa:s) and perfect (leloipo:s,
leluko:s). The first two contrast in aspect primarily (sometimes in tense as
well); the third from those other two by tense in that the event occurred
before the refernce point, which is concurrent with the speech-act.

Neeraj Mathur
Holly
2006-03-19 18:26:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
I dont get emotional about the lines of text on this screen. They are
just pixels, and neither praise nor condemnation garners my attention.
I can see where those lacking the scholarship or reason do get upset,
but even then, sometimes I learn something from the rants.
Regarding the Chinese, I didnt know they lacked verb tenses. But this
stands in sharp contrast to Tocharian which has the most extensive
system of tense and case that I've every read about. "IT depends on
what the meaning of is, is" would not have worked in Tocharian; tense
and case were always clear. I dont read Tocharian, I'm still reading
about it, and there is much to consider.
P61, Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology, Douglas
Adams:"4.23, THE ENDINGS OF THE IMPERATIVE. The normal second person
singlular imperative in Proto-Indo-European was the bare stem, while
the second person plural was the bare stem plus *-te (just as in the
indicative). Thus we might have *es(te) 'be!' or *age(te) 'lead!'. Such
imperative have almost disappeared in Tocharian being replaced by
modalized perfects or aorists."
He goes on to outline it, noting that what Tocharian has left is stuff
like "pick me up!" or "Give me!" the kind of thing kids say to moms.
From what Adams has to say, it seems impossible to translate the Ten
Commandments into Tocharian because there aint no word for "Shalt".
Which gets to the issue you raise about what can be communicated. Some
people just dont get it. But some things get handed down forever. Which
fits with what neurologist Ramachandran has to say about pattern
recognition algorithms in the occipital lobes.
The most remarkable example I know of has to do with a cave in Europe
that they found a large clay model of a bear with the remnants of a
bear skin that once covered it still there. Along with a bear skull
with the bear femurs thrust thru the eye sockets. Then a friend showed
me an anthro book on the Ainu, who still worshiped the great bear god.
They would capture a bear cub in spring; the women would nurse it at
the breast, and when mature, it was sacrificed to carry messages from
the tribe into the spirit world. After that ritual, there's another in
which the bear skin is draped over a bear model, and on the floor
infront of the shrine, they place a bear skull with the crossed femurs
thrust into the eye sockets. something like 30,000 years later.
We see the variety in instinctive behavior patterns among dogs, which
tho they vary more than the hominids in size, shape, color and
intelligence, nonetheless are all the same species. FMRI brain scans
are being used by neurologists like Ramachandran to outline some of the
pattern software that we see manifest as art.
We also see the unwarrented dismissibility of modern hominids wanting
to think of themselves as the 'sons of god' and different from all
other animals, and how that too is an instinctive behavior pattern of
alpha males.
Re Ramachandran ~ After reviewing a series of his lectures from Oxford
I came upon the very thing I have been looking for ... although the
path I have taken has been richer than any direct root could have been.
Thank you again for this direction. Below I quote the end of his
lecture on Synesthesia.
"Now finally I would like to turn to language, how did language evolve?
This has always been a very controversial topic and the question is
look, here we have this amazing ability called language with all the
nesting of clauses, this hierarchical structure of language, this
recursive embedding of clauses, our enormous lexicon and it's an
extraordinarily sophisticated mechanism. How could it possibly have
evolved through the blind workings of chance through natural selection?
How did we evolve from the grunts and howls and groans of our ape-like
ancestors to all the sophistication of a Shakespeare or a George Bush?
Now there have been several theories about this. Alfred Russell Wallace
said the mechanism is so complicated it couldn't have evolved through
natural selection. It was done by god, divine intervention. Maybe he's
right but we can't test it so let's throw it away. Next theory was by
Chomsky. Chomsky said actually something quite similar although he
doesn't use the word god. He said this mechanism is so sophisticated
and elaborate it couldn't have emerged through natural selection,
through the blind workings of chance but god knows what happens if you
pack one hundred billion nerve cells in such a tiny space, you may get
new laws of physics emerging. Aha, that's how you explain language so
he almost says it's a miracle although he doesn't use the word miracle.
Now even if that's true we can't test it so let's throw it away. So
then what actually happened? How did language evolve? I suggest the
clue, the vital clue comes from the booba/kiki example, from
synesthesia and I'd like to replace this idea with what I call the
synesthetic boot-strapping theory of language origins, and I'll get to
that in a minute.

So the next idea is Pinker's idea and his idea is look there's no big
mystery here. You're seeing the final result of evolution, of language
but you don't know what the intermediate steps are so it always looks
mysterious but of course it evolved through natural selection even
though we don't know what the steps were. Now I think he's right but he
doesn't go far enough because as a biologist, we want the devils and
the details. We want to know what those intermediate steps are, not
merely that it could have happened through natural selection. Of course
it happened through natural selection. There is nothing else so let's
take the lexicon, words. How did we evolve such a wonderful huge
repertoire of words, thousands of words? Did our ancestral hominoids
sit near the fireplace and say, let's look at that. OK, everybody call
it an axe, say everybody axe. Of course not! I mean you do that in
kindergarten but that's not what they did. If they didn't do that, what
did they do? Well what I'm arguing is that the booba/kiki example
provides the clue. It shows there is a pre-existing translation between
the visual appearance of the object represented in the fusiform gyrus
and the auditory representation in the auditory cortex. In other words
there's already a synesthetic cross-modal abstraction going on, a
pre-existing translation if you like between the visual appearance and
the auditory representation. Now admittedly this is a very small bias,
but that's all you need in evolution to get it started and then you can
start embellishing it.

But that's only part of the story, part one. Part two, I'm going to
argue, there's also a pre-existing built-in cross-activation. Just as
there is between visual and auditory, the booba/kiki effect, there's
also between visual in the fusiform and the motor brocas area in the
front of the brain that controls the sequence of activations of muscles
of vocalisation, phonation and articulation - lips, tongue and mouth.
How do I know that? Well let's take an example. Let's take the example
of something tiny, say teeny weeny, un peu, diminutive - look at what
my lips are doing. The amazing thing is they're actually physically
mimicking the visual appearance of the object - versus enormous, large.
We're actually physically mimicking the visual appearance of the object
so what I'm arguing is that also again a pre-existing bias to map
certain visual shapes onto certain sounds in the motor maps in the
brocas area.

Lastly, the third factor - I think there's also a pre-existing
cross-activation between the hand area and the mouth area because they
are right next to each other in the Penfield motor map in the brain and
let me give you an example, and I got scooped. Charles Darwin first
described this. What he showed was when people cut with a pair of
scissors you clench and unclench your jaws unconsciously as if to echo
or mimic the movements of the fingers. He didn't explain why but I'd
like to give it a name. I call it synkinesia - and that's because the
hand and mouth areas are right next to each other and maybe there is
some spill-over of signals. Now so what? Well, imagine your ancestral
hominids evolving a system of gestures for communication, and this
would have been important because vocalisation, you can't engage them
in your hunting. Now the right hemisphere produces guttural emotional
utterances along with the anterior singular. Now your mouth and tongue
are already, there's a pre-existing translation of the visual symbols
into mouth lip and tongue movements. Combine that with guttural
utterances coming from the right hemisphere and anterior cingulate,
what do you get? You get the first words, you get proto-words.

So now you've got three things in place - hand to mouth, mouth in
brocas area to visual appearance in the fusiform and auditory cortex,
and auditory to visual, the booba/kiki effect. Each of these is a small
effect but acting together there's a synergistic boot-strapping effect
going on and an avalanche effect, culminating in the emergence of
language. Finally you say well what about the hierarchical structure of
syntax? How do you explain that? Well I think like when you say he
knows that I know that he knows that I know that I had an affair with
his wife. How do you do this hierarchic embedding in language? Well
partly I think that comes from semantics, from the region of the TPO
where I said you'd engage in abstraction and I already explained how
abstraction might have evolved, so partly abstraction feeds into
syntactic structure, but partly from tool use. Early hominids were very
good at tool use and especially what I call the sub-assembly technique
in tool use where you take a piece of flint, make it into a head - step
one. Then you haft it onto a handle - step two, and then the whole
thing becomes one entity which is then used to hit you the subject, you
hit the object. You do something to the object and this bears a certain
operational analogy with the embedding of noun clauses. So what I'm
arguing is what evolved for tool use in the hand area is now exapted
and assimilated in the brocas area to be used in syntactic hierarchic
embedding. So now look, each of these has a small bias but acting in
conjunction they culminate in language. It's very different from Steve
Pinker's idea which is that language is a specific adaptation which
evolved step by step for the sole purpose of communication. What I'm
arguing here is no, it's the fortuitous synergistic combination of a
number of mechanisms which evolved for other purposes initially and
then became assimilated into the mechanism that we call language. This
often happens in evolution but it's a style of thinking that has yet to
permeate neurology and psychology and it's very odd that neurologists
don't usually think of evolution given that nothing in biology makes
any sense except in the light of evolution as Dobzhansky once said.

So let me summarise what we've done. We begin with a disorder that's
been known for a century but treated as a curiosity. And then we showed
that the phenomenon is real, what the underlying brain mechanisms might
be, and lastly spelt out what the broader implications of this curious
phenomenon might be. So what have we done here with synesthesia? Let's
take a look. One day we might be able to clone the gene or genes,
because if you find a large enough family you might be able to do this.
Then we can go on to the brain anatomy and say look, it's expressed in
the fusiform gyrus and you get lower synesthesia. You go to angular
gyrus you get higher synesthesia. If it's expressed all over you get
artsy types! Then from the brain anatomy you go to detailed perceptual
psychophysics. Either the pop-out effect, you know the 2s against the
5s which you can measure, and then finally all the way to understanding
abstract thought and how it might have emerged, metaphor, Shakespeare,
even the evolution of language - all of this in this one little quirk
that people used to call synesthesia. So I agree wholeheartedly with
what Huxley said in the last century just across the road here at the
University Museum, contrary to Benjamin Disraeli's views and the views
of Bishop Wilberforce. We are not angels, we are merely sophisticated
apes. Yet we feel like angels trapped inside the bodies of beasts,
craving transcendence and all the time trying to spread our wings and
fly off, and it's really a very odd predicament to be in, if you think
about it."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/lecture4.shtml
Douglas G. Kilday
2006-03-25 05:02:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
[...]
Re Ramachandran ~ After reviewing a series of his lectures from Oxford
I came upon the very thing I have been looking for ... although the
path I have taken has been richer than any direct root could have been.
Domestic pigs might make a similar observation. Their wild cousins who root
directly for food live much less richly.
Post by Holly
Thank you again for this direction. Below I quote the end of his
lecture on Synesthesia.
"Now finally I would like to turn to language, how did language evolve?
This has always been a very controversial topic and the question is
look, here we have this amazing ability called language with all the
nesting of clauses, this hierarchical structure of language, this
recursive embedding of clauses, our enormous lexicon and it's an
extraordinarily sophisticated mechanism. How could it possibly have
evolved through the blind workings of chance through natural selection?
How did we evolve from the grunts and howls and groans of our ape-like
ancestors to all the sophistication of a Shakespeare or a George Bush?
Now there have been several theories about this. Alfred Russell Wallace
said the mechanism is so complicated it couldn't have evolved through
natural selection. It was done by god, divine intervention. Maybe he's
right but we can't test it so let's throw it away. Next theory was by
Chomsky. Chomsky said actually something quite similar although he
doesn't use the word god. He said this mechanism is so sophisticated
and elaborate it couldn't have emerged through natural selection,
through the blind workings of chance but god knows what happens if you
pack one hundred billion nerve cells in such a tiny space, you may get
new laws of physics emerging. Aha, that's how you explain language so
he almost says it's a miracle although he doesn't use the word miracle.
Now even if that's true we can't test it so let's throw it away. So
then what actually happened? How did language evolve? I suggest the
clue, the vital clue comes from the booba/kiki example, from
synesthesia and I'd like to replace this idea with what I call the
synesthetic boot-strapping theory of language origins, and I'll get to
that in a minute.
So the next idea is Pinker's idea and his idea is look there's no big
mystery here. You're seeing the final result of evolution, of language
but you don't know what the intermediate steps are so it always looks
mysterious but of course it evolved through natural selection even
though we don't know what the steps were. Now I think he's right but he
doesn't go far enough because as a biologist, we want the devils and
the details. We want to know what those intermediate steps are, not
merely that it could have happened through natural selection. Of course
it happened through natural selection. There is nothing else so let's
take the lexicon, words. How did we evolve such a wonderful huge
repertoire of words, thousands of words? Did our ancestral hominoids
sit near the fireplace and say, let's look at that. OK, everybody call
it an axe, say everybody axe. Of course not! I mean you do that in
kindergarten but that's not what they did. If they didn't do that, what
did they do? Well what I'm arguing is that the booba/kiki example
provides the clue. It shows there is a pre-existing translation between
the visual appearance of the object represented in the fusiform gyrus
and the auditory representation in the auditory cortex. In other words
there's already a synesthetic cross-modal abstraction going on, a
pre-existing translation if you like between the visual appearance and
the auditory representation. Now admittedly this is a very small bias,
but that's all you need in evolution to get it started and then you can
start embellishing it.
The visual appearance of a given object can vary greatly depending on its
distance, the angle at which it is perceived, lighting, background, etc.
And in real languages, a given noun can refer to any member of a whole class
of objects which may differ greatly in visual appearance among themselves
_ceteris paribus_. Moreover, real languages have many nouns referring to
"objects" which cannot be perceived visually at all. A theory which merely
maps visual and auditory representations together cannot explain language,
and sweeping the essential details under the rug as "embellishments" is no
better than Pinker.
Post by Holly
But that's only part of the story, part one. Part two, I'm going to
argue, there's also a pre-existing built-in cross-activation. Just as
there is between visual and auditory, the booba/kiki effect, there's
also between visual in the fusiform and the motor brocas area in the
front of the brain that controls the sequence of activations of muscles
of vocalisation, phonation and articulation - lips, tongue and mouth.
How do I know that? Well let's take an example. Let's take the example
of something tiny, say teeny weeny, un peu, diminutive - look at what
my lips are doing. The amazing thing is they're actually physically
mimicking the visual appearance of the object - versus enormous, large.
We're actually physically mimicking the visual appearance of the object
so what I'm arguing is that also again a pre-existing bias to map
certain visual shapes onto certain sounds in the motor maps in the
brocas area.
Sheesh. This sort of claptrap was already old hat when Plato wrote the
_Cratylus_. The only "amazing thing" here is that Ramachandran gets away
with pretending to have made a profound new discovery.
Post by Holly
Lastly, the third factor - I think there's also a pre-existing
cross-activation between the hand area and the mouth area because they
are right next to each other in the Penfield motor map in the brain and
let me give you an example, and I got scooped. Charles Darwin first
described this. What he showed was when people cut with a pair of
scissors you clench and unclench your jaws unconsciously as if to echo
or mimic the movements of the fingers. He didn't explain why but I'd
like to give it a name. I call it synkinesia - and that's because the
hand and mouth areas are right next to each other and maybe there is
some spill-over of signals. Now so what? Well, imagine your ancestral
hominids evolving a system of gestures for communication, and this
would have been important because vocalisation, you can't engage them
in your hunting. Now the right hemisphere produces guttural emotional
utterances along with the anterior singular. Now your mouth and tongue
are already, there's a pre-existing translation of the visual symbols
into mouth lip and tongue movements. Combine that with guttural
utterances coming from the right hemisphere and anterior cingulate,
what do you get? You get the first words, you get proto-words.
Gestures are better than vocals for hunting? Yeah, right. The prey will
never see you jumping around trying to get the attention of your partners
hidden behind the trees.

How is this leaky-brain fantasy any better than Wallace, Chomsky, or Pinker?
Presumably the Ramachandran model brain leaks all over, like a phrenology
head with fuzzy compartments, or Chia Guy planted with seeds from Three Mile
Island. Why should one arbitrary leakage scenario be elevated to the One
True Theory of Language Origin?
Post by Holly
So now you've got three things in place - hand to mouth, mouth in
brocas area to visual appearance in the fusiform and auditory cortex,
and auditory to visual, the booba/kiki effect. Each of these is a small
effect but acting together there's a synergistic boot-strapping effect
going on and an avalanche effect, culminating in the emergence of
language. Finally you say well what about the hierarchical structure of
syntax? How do you explain that? Well I think like when you say he
knows that I know that he knows that I know that I had an affair with
his wife. How do you do this hierarchic embedding in language? Well
partly I think that comes from semantics, from the region of the TPO
where I said you'd engage in abstraction and I already explained how
abstraction might have evolved, so partly abstraction feeds into
syntactic structure, but partly from tool use. Early hominids were very
good at tool use and especially what I call the sub-assembly technique
in tool use where you take a piece of flint, make it into a head - step
one. Then you haft it onto a handle - step two, and then the whole
thing becomes one entity which is then used to hit you the subject, you
hit the object. You do something to the object and this bears a certain
operational analogy with the embedding of noun clauses. So what I'm
arguing is what evolved for tool use in the hand area is now exapted
and assimilated in the brocas area to be used in syntactic hierarchic
embedding. So now look, each of these has a small bias but acting in
conjunction they culminate in language. It's very different from Steve
Pinker's idea which is that language is a specific adaptation which
evolved step by step for the sole purpose of communication. What I'm
arguing here is no, it's the fortuitous synergistic combination of a
number of mechanisms which evolved for other purposes initially and
then became assimilated into the mechanism that we call language. This
often happens in evolution but it's a style of thinking that has yet to
permeate neurology and psychology and it's very odd that neurologists
don't usually think of evolution given that nothing in biology makes
any sense except in the light of evolution as Dobzhansky once said.
Yes. Early hominids were very good at tool use, we all know that. They
were like a tribe of Tim Allens without the cocaine conviction. And it's
absolutely clear that if I can haft a piece of flint onto a handle, then use
the whole thing as one entity to hit me the subject, I also hit the object,
thus giving birth to the relative clause. I'm glad that's all cleared up!

"If the only tool you have is a hammer ..."
Post by Holly
So let me summarise what we've done. We begin with a disorder that's
been known for a century but treated as a curiosity. And then we showed
that the phenomenon is real, what the underlying brain mechanisms might
be, and lastly spelt out what the broader implications of this curious
phenomenon might be. So what have we done here with synesthesia? Let's
take a look. One day we might be able to clone the gene or genes,
because if you find a large enough family you might be able to do this.
Then we can go on to the brain anatomy and say look, it's expressed in
the fusiform gyrus and you get lower synesthesia. You go to angular
gyrus you get higher synesthesia. If it's expressed all over you get
artsy types! Then from the brain anatomy you go to detailed perceptual
psychophysics. Either the pop-out effect, you know the 2s against the
5s which you can measure, and then finally all the way to understanding
abstract thought and how it might have emerged, metaphor, Shakespeare,
even the evolution of language - all of this in this one little quirk
that people used to call synesthesia. So I agree wholeheartedly with
what Huxley said in the last century just across the road here at the
University Museum, contrary to Benjamin Disraeli's views and the views
of Bishop Wilberforce. We are not angels, we are merely sophisticated
apes. Yet we feel like angels trapped inside the bodies of beasts,
craving transcendence and all the time trying to spread our wings and
fly off, and it's really a very odd predicament to be in, if you think
about it."
This character rambles more than Jack Kemp. Over here he could have been a
noted Republican politician.
Holly
2006-03-25 13:02:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
Post by Holly
[...]
Re Ramachandran ~ After reviewing a series of his lectures from Oxford
I came upon the very thing I have been looking for ... although the
path I have taken has been richer than any direct root could have been.
Domestic pigs might make a similar observation. Their wild cousins who root
directly for food live much less richly.
Thank goodness one's species is not determined by one's misspelling or
typos.
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
Post by Holly
Thank you again for this direction. Below I quote the end of his
lecture on Synesthesia.
"Now finally I would like to turn to language, how did language evolve?
This has always been a very controversial topic and the question is
look, here we have this amazing ability called language with all the
nesting of clauses, this hierarchical structure of language, this
recursive embedding of clauses, our enormous lexicon and it's an
extraordinarily sophisticated mechanism. How could it possibly have
evolved through the blind workings of chance through natural selection?
How did we evolve from the grunts and howls and groans of our ape-like
ancestors to all the sophistication of a Shakespeare or a George Bush?
Now there have been several theories about this. Alfred Russell Wallace
said the mechanism is so complicated it couldn't have evolved through
natural selection. It was done by god, divine intervention. Maybe he's
right but we can't test it so let's throw it away. Next theory was by
Chomsky. Chomsky said actually something quite similar although he
doesn't use the word god. He said this mechanism is so sophisticated
and elaborate it couldn't have emerged through natural selection,
through the blind workings of chance but god knows what happens if you
pack one hundred billion nerve cells in such a tiny space, you may get
new laws of physics emerging. Aha, that's how you explain language so
he almost says it's a miracle although he doesn't use the word miracle.
Now even if that's true we can't test it so let's throw it away. So
then what actually happened? How did language evolve? I suggest the
clue, the vital clue comes from the booba/kiki example, from
synesthesia and I'd like to replace this idea with what I call the
synesthetic boot-strapping theory of language origins, and I'll get to
that in a minute.
So the next idea is Pinker's idea and his idea is look there's no big
mystery here. You're seeing the final result of evolution, of language
but you don't know what the intermediate steps are so it always looks
mysterious but of course it evolved through natural selection even
though we don't know what the steps were. Now I think he's right but he
doesn't go far enough because as a biologist, we want the devils and
the details. We want to know what those intermediate steps are, not
merely that it could have happened through natural selection. Of course
it happened through natural selection. There is nothing else so let's
take the lexicon, words. How did we evolve such a wonderful huge
repertoire of words, thousands of words? Did our ancestral hominoids
sit near the fireplace and say, let's look at that. OK, everybody call
it an axe, say everybody axe. Of course not! I mean you do that in
kindergarten but that's not what they did. If they didn't do that, what
did they do? Well what I'm arguing is that the booba/kiki example
provides the clue. It shows there is a pre-existing translation between
the visual appearance of the object represented in the fusiform gyrus
and the auditory representation in the auditory cortex. In other words
there's already a synesthetic cross-modal abstraction going on, a
pre-existing translation if you like between the visual appearance and
the auditory representation. Now admittedly this is a very small bias,
but that's all you need in evolution to get it started and then you can
start embellishing it.
The visual appearance of a given object can vary greatly depending on its
distance, the angle at which it is perceived, lighting, background, etc.
And in real languages, a given noun can refer to any member of a whole class
of objects which may differ greatly in visual appearance among themselves
_ceteris paribus_. Moreover, real languages have many nouns referring to
"objects" which cannot be perceived visually at all. A theory which merely
maps visual and auditory representations together cannot explain language,
and sweeping the essential details under the rug as "embellishments" is no
better than Pinker.
I hope you have read more about this than I have presented here.
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
Post by Holly
But that's only part of the story, part one. Part two, I'm going to
argue, there's also a pre-existing built-in cross-activation. Just as
there is between visual and auditory, the booba/kiki effect, there's
also between visual in the fusiform and the motor brocas area in the
front of the brain that controls the sequence of activations of muscles
of vocalisation, phonation and articulation - lips, tongue and mouth.
How do I know that? Well let's take an example. Let's take the example
of something tiny, say teeny weeny, un peu, diminutive - look at what
my lips are doing. The amazing thing is they're actually physically
mimicking the visual appearance of the object - versus enormous, large.
We're actually physically mimicking the visual appearance of the object
so what I'm arguing is that also again a pre-existing bias to map
certain visual shapes onto certain sounds in the motor maps in the
brocas area.
Sheesh. This sort of claptrap was already old hat when Plato wrote the
_Cratylus_. The only "amazing thing" here is that Ramachandran gets away
with pretending to have made a profound new discovery.
Does the argument of age diminish truth? Or are you saying just
because Ramachandran got his initial idea from the inside of a Bazooka
Bubblegum wrapper that it lacks validity?
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
Post by Holly
Lastly, the third factor - I think there's also a pre-existing
cross-activation between the hand area and the mouth area because they
are right next to each other in the Penfield motor map in the brain and
let me give you an example, and I got scooped. Charles Darwin first
described this. What he showed was when people cut with a pair of
scissors you clench and unclench your jaws unconsciously as if to echo
or mimic the movements of the fingers. He didn't explain why but I'd
like to give it a name. I call it synkinesia - and that's because the
hand and mouth areas are right next to each other and maybe there is
some spill-over of signals. Now so what? Well, imagine your ancestral
hominids evolving a system of gestures for communication, and this
would have been important because vocalisation, you can't engage them
in your hunting. Now the right hemisphere produces guttural emotional
utterances along with the anterior singular. Now your mouth and tongue
are already, there's a pre-existing translation of the visual symbols
into mouth lip and tongue movements. Combine that with guttural
utterances coming from the right hemisphere and anterior cingulate,
what do you get? You get the first words, you get proto-words.
Gestures are better than vocals for hunting? Yeah, right. The prey will
never see you jumping around trying to get the attention of your partners
hidden behind the trees.
Ergo we might conclude that being mute and slow to move would be viable
traits for all successful hunters ..... hmm...


"The silent means of communication afforded by the use of gesture was
particularly useful to warriors in combat, who were able to give signs
to each other over a considerable distance in order to surprise the
enemy."

"A system of intertribal communication through the use of ideographic
gestures made with the hands, sign language was first noted by
explorers as early as 1535."

http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/e-resources/ebooks/records/7132.html
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
How is this leaky-brain fantasy any better than Wallace, Chomsky, or Pinker?
Presumably the Ramachandran model brain leaks all over, like a phrenology
head with fuzzy compartments, or Chia Guy planted with seeds from Three Mile
Island. Why should one arbitrary leakage scenario be elevated to the One
True Theory of Language Origin?
What I have noticed about this NG is some contributors use sarcasm as a
form of argument. Although it does suggest some cleverness on the part
of the "sarco-vocateur," like those who have perfected card tricks to
dazzle their guests ...it is not a valid way to dispute another
person's hypotheses.
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
Post by Holly
So now you've got three things in place - hand to mouth, mouth in
brocas area to visual appearance in the fusiform and auditory cortex,
and auditory to visual, the booba/kiki effect. Each of these is a small
effect but acting together there's a synergistic boot-strapping effect
going on and an avalanche effect, culminating in the emergence of
language. Finally you say well what about the hierarchical structure of
syntax? How do you explain that? Well I think like when you say he
knows that I know that he knows that I know that I had an affair with
his wife. How do you do this hierarchic embedding in language? Well
partly I think that comes from semantics, from the region of the TPO
where I said you'd engage in abstraction and I already explained how
abstraction might have evolved, so partly abstraction feeds into
syntactic structure, but partly from tool use. Early hominids were very
good at tool use and especially what I call the sub-assembly technique
in tool use where you take a piece of flint, make it into a head - step
one. Then you haft it onto a handle - step two, and then the whole
thing becomes one entity which is then used to hit you the subject, you
hit the object. You do something to the object and this bears a certain
operational analogy with the embedding of noun clauses. So what I'm
arguing is what evolved for tool use in the hand area is now exapted
and assimilated in the brocas area to be used in syntactic hierarchic
embedding. So now look, each of these has a small bias but acting in
conjunction they culminate in language. It's very different from Steve
Pinker's idea which is that language is a specific adaptation which
evolved step by step for the sole purpose of communication. What I'm
arguing here is no, it's the fortuitous synergistic combination of a
number of mechanisms which evolved for other purposes initially and
then became assimilated into the mechanism that we call language. This
often happens in evolution but it's a style of thinking that has yet to
permeate neurology and psychology and it's very odd that neurologists
don't usually think of evolution given that nothing in biology makes
any sense except in the light of evolution as Dobzhansky once said.
Yes. Early hominids were very good at tool use, we all know that. They
were like a tribe of Tim Allens without the cocaine conviction. And it's
absolutely clear that if I can haft a piece of flint onto a handle, then use
the whole thing as one entity to hit me the subject, I also hit the object,
thus giving birth to the relative clause. I'm glad that's all cleared up!
But convictions are not always habit forming. Does he proselytize?
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
"If the only tool you have is a hammer ..."
Well ... yes ... I suppose that would make for more generalizations.
Post by Douglas G. Kilday
Post by Holly
So let me summarise what we've done. We begin with a disorder that's
been known for a century but treated as a curiosity. And then we showed
that the phenomenon is real, what the underlying brain mechanisms might
be, and lastly spelt out what the broader implications of this curious
phenomenon might be. So what have we done here with synesthesia? Let's
take a look. One day we might be able to clone the gene or genes,
because if you find a large enough family you might be able to do this.
Then we can go on to the brain anatomy and say look, it's expressed in
the fusiform gyrus and you get lower synesthesia. You go to angular
gyrus you get higher synesthesia. If it's expressed all over you get
artsy types! Then from the brain anatomy you go to detailed perceptual
psychophysics. Either the pop-out effect, you know the 2s against the
5s which you can measure, and then finally all the way to understanding
abstract thought and how it might have emerged, metaphor, Shakespeare,
even the evolution of language - all of this in this one little quirk
that people used to call synesthesia. So I agree wholeheartedly with
what Huxley said in the last century just across the road here at the
University Museum, contrary to Benjamin Disraeli's views and the views
of Bishop Wilberforce. We are not angels, we are merely sophisticated
apes. Yet we feel like angels trapped inside the bodies of beasts,
craving transcendence and all the time trying to spread our wings and
fly off, and it's really a very odd predicament to be in, if you think
about it."
This character rambles more than Jack Kemp. Over here he could have been a
noted Republican politician.
If only.
Day Brown
2006-04-08 03:21:38 UTC
Permalink
Sorry to be so late. My internet access was down for 8 days.

Regarding Chinese & Tocharian... while tonality is critical in Chinese
and Tocharian relies on suffixes and prefixes, both evolved out of
Neolithic agrarian technologies with a need to plan according to the
seasons, and manage inventory to survive the winter. The ideas of
distance, time, tense, case, and gender were important to both.

"Life along the Silk Road" by Whitfield takes place mostly on the
eastern end, from Xian to Jade Gate to Kucha about 1000 years ago.
Bi-linguality in Tocharian and Chinese was pretty common. There were
*lots* of cultural ties. "The Mummies of Urumchi" by Barber notes that
the Shang court had Tocharian astrologers about as far back as you can
trace the contact. Then, as now, 'Western' music was a big hit in the
Chinese capital, and Tocharian green eyed/fair haired musicians and/or
call girls were in high class demand, practiced in Tantric sexuality
and what would look to us like the arts of the Geisha.

The sex manuals of Taoism look a lot like the Kama Sutra, and both
cultures at the time had very powerful female figures. Then too, the
upper classes on both sides of the Jade Gate had a habit of sending
daughters to marry or become nuns in the religious orders of the other.


Course, pushing them together were the common enemies, the
Zongnu/Mongols of the North and the Tibetans of the south, and invasion
and banditry was a recurrant problem for folks trying to do business.
All the common spirituality they shared in Taoism, Confucianism, &
Buddhism is another clue to Chinese and Tocharians being able to
understand each other. Nor were either ever very big on heresy trials
and inquisitions. The relative egalitarianism of the Tocharians (who
share so much DNA with other Europeans) is a testament to the
delterious narrowmindedness that came out of European acceptance of
Levantine scriptures with a very different world view, and and a
concept of the divine as an alpha male tyrant.

Some of the Levantine dualism is seen in Manichean, Nestorian, and
Zoroastrian traditions, but these never gained wide acceptance in
either Chinese or Tocharian cultures, but only existed because of the
tolerant traditions along the Silk Road cities.

The meeting of Chinese and Tocharians did produce a flowering, and
tonite I saw a TV piece suggesting that the flowering of European cave
art came out of the meeting between Neanderthals & Cro Magnon...
another example of how exposure to a new culture expanded horizons for
everyone.

"Stone Age Soundtracks" by Deveroux begins with an acoustic analysis of
the ice age caves, and suggests that the placement of dolmens and
monliths in Europe were quite deliberate to permit a speaker, at a
specific point, to be heard by everyone within a stone circle like
Stone Henge. (I dunno how he missed the 'Goddess temples' at Malta in
his analysis) The ancients seemed also aware of the "Helmholtz
resonance", based on matching the volume of a space with the placement
of large flat stones to reflect sound.

Several places are setup such that the echo returns in time to match
the beat of a drum, which when continued, build up somewhat like the
feedback resonance we all remember from a high school gym's PA system.

I'm looking for more reports on the use of entheogens, which would have
greatly magnified the artistic experience in a sacred place at the
sacred time. Wasson, "Persephone's Quest", traces the origin of the
Vedic "Soma" which was even known in the Chinese end of the Silk Road.
Since we see anthropology reports of stone age cultures using shamantic
potions, we can assume they were also in wide spread use in Europe...
until Christian repression begun under Justinian
(and continuing today as the 'war on drugs').

Gimbutas, in 'The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe' shows us stone
carvings and pottery samples of the Amanita Muscaria Wasson says was
used to make 'Soma' dating from 7000 BP. My personal experience is that
its a very powerful potion whose ancient use is evident in the eidetic
art of Buddhism & Hinduism.

But it would have had just as magical an effect in stone age sacred
caves. The notorious habit of such potions to make the walls appear to
'breathe' would have naturally led to the crafting of images on those
walls to correspond to the animals seen to be breathing in the stone.
Inasmuch as it was the Neanderthals in the caves when the Cro Magnon
shows up, it was prolly the former who knew about the magical effect of
Amanita Muscaria. With a high meat diet and no alcohol at all, the Soma
trips must have been very enjoyable, and entirely lacking in the
stomach distress we see reported today.

The recent discovery of a Neanderthal Hyppoid bone suggests that they
did indeed have language, altho I'd like to see an acoustic analysis of
the skulls to get an idea of what they sounded like. It would have been
quite different. HNS had a much more robust skeleton, and I expect this
included a thick skull. However, the HNS lived in very small and highly
inbred family groups that therefore had a lot of genetic variation, and
there's no way of knowing that the few Neanderthal skulls we do have is
very representative.

And to complicate matters further, when HNS & HSS began hybridizing,
there would have been even more genetic variation. I daresay that the
acoustic properties of the Chinese skulls has something to do with the
tonal way that culture evolved language... and again, the effect of
that hybridization. Tocharian singers were huge hits in Xian, which was
partly due to the skull resonance as well as the larger frames, and
hence bigger chest cavities of Tocharian women... who could hold a note
until the audience just went nuts.

And where did the Tocharians get the larger frames? Neanderthals.
Holly
2006-04-09 15:07:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
Sorry to be so late. My internet access was down for 8 days.
Regarding Chinese & Tocharian... while tonality is critical in Chinese
and Tocharian relies on suffixes and prefixes, both evolved out of
Neolithic agrarian technologies with a need to plan according to the
seasons, and manage inventory to survive the winter. The ideas of
distance, time, tense, case, and gender were important to both.
"Life along the Silk Road" by Whitfield takes place mostly on the
eastern end, from Xian to Jade Gate to Kucha about 1000 years ago.
Bi-linguality in Tocharian and Chinese was pretty common. There were
*lots* of cultural ties. "The Mummies of Urumchi" by Barber notes that
the Shang court had Tocharian astrologers about as far back as you can
trace the contact. Then, as now, 'Western' music was a big hit in the
Chinese capital, and Tocharian green eyed/fair haired musicians and/or
call girls were in high class demand, practiced in Tantric sexuality
and what would look to us like the arts of the Geisha.
The sex manuals of Taoism look a lot like the Kama Sutra, and both
cultures at the time had very powerful female figures. Then too, the
upper classes on both sides of the Jade Gate had a habit of sending
daughters to marry or become nuns in the religious orders of the other.
Course, pushing them together were the common enemies, the
Zongnu/Mongols of the North and the Tibetans of the south, and invasion
and banditry was a recurrant problem for folks trying to do business.
All the common spirituality they shared in Taoism, Confucianism, &
Buddhism is another clue to Chinese and Tocharians being able to
understand each other. Nor were either ever very big on heresy trials
and inquisitions. The relative egalitarianism of the Tocharians (who
share so much DNA with other Europeans) is a testament to the
delterious narrowmindedness that came out of European acceptance of
Levantine scriptures with a very different world view, and and a
concept of the divine as an alpha male tyrant.
Some of the Levantine dualism is seen in Manichean, Nestorian, and
Zoroastrian traditions, but these never gained wide acceptance in
either Chinese or Tocharian cultures, but only existed because of the
tolerant traditions along the Silk Road cities.
The meeting of Chinese and Tocharians did produce a flowering, and
tonite I saw a TV piece suggesting that the flowering of European cave
art came out of the meeting between Neanderthals & Cro Magnon...
another example of how exposure to a new culture expanded horizons for
everyone.
"Stone Age Soundtracks" by Deveroux begins with an acoustic analysis of
the ice age caves, and suggests that the placement of dolmens and
monliths in Europe were quite deliberate to permit a speaker, at a
specific point, to be heard by everyone within a stone circle like
Stone Henge. (I dunno how he missed the 'Goddess temples' at Malta in
his analysis) The ancients seemed also aware of the "Helmholtz
resonance", based on matching the volume of a space with the placement
of large flat stones to reflect sound.
Several places are setup such that the echo returns in time to match
the beat of a drum, which when continued, build up somewhat like the
feedback resonance we all remember from a high school gym's PA system.
I'm looking for more reports on the use of entheogens, which would have
greatly magnified the artistic experience in a sacred place at the
sacred time. Wasson, "Persephone's Quest", traces the origin of the
Vedic "Soma" which was even known in the Chinese end of the Silk Road.
Since we see anthropology reports of stone age cultures using shamantic
potions, we can assume they were also in wide spread use in Europe...
until Christian repression begun under Justinian
(and continuing today as the 'war on drugs').
Gimbutas, in 'The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe' shows us stone
carvings and pottery samples of the Amanita Muscaria Wasson says was
used to make 'Soma' dating from 7000 BP. My personal experience is that
its a very powerful potion whose ancient use is evident in the eidetic
art of Buddhism & Hinduism.
But it would have had just as magical an effect in stone age sacred
caves. The notorious habit of such potions to make the walls appear to
'breathe' would have naturally led to the crafting of images on those
walls to correspond to the animals seen to be breathing in the stone.
Inasmuch as it was the Neanderthals in the caves when the Cro Magnon
shows up, it was prolly the former who knew about the magical effect of
Amanita Muscaria. With a high meat diet and no alcohol at all, the Soma
trips must have been very enjoyable, and entirely lacking in the
stomach distress we see reported today.
The recent discovery of a Neanderthal Hyppoid bone suggests that they
did indeed have language, altho I'd like to see an acoustic analysis of
the skulls to get an idea of what they sounded like. It would have been
quite different. HNS had a much more robust skeleton, and I expect this
included a thick skull. However, the HNS lived in very small and highly
inbred family groups that therefore had a lot of genetic variation, and
there's no way of knowing that the few Neanderthal skulls we do have is
very representative.
And to complicate matters further, when HNS & HSS began hybridizing,
there would have been even more genetic variation. I daresay that the
acoustic properties of the Chinese skulls has something to do with the
tonal way that culture evolved language... and again, the effect of
that hybridization. Tocharian singers were huge hits in Xian, which was
partly due to the skull resonance as well as the larger frames, and
hence bigger chest cavities of Tocharian women... who could hold a note
until the audience just went nuts.
And where did the Tocharians get the larger frames? Neanderthals.
Day,
Thank you very much for all your references. I have diligently queried
each and saved them for further investigation. Many of the writers and
topics you offer here have lead me to other excellent areas for
exploration as well.

Prior to posting this thread I had come across this website. I offer
it here in case you haven't seen it. I think it will interest you.
http://www.shroomery.org/index.php/par/25043

As for Neanderthals and Tocharian women exchanging DNA, all the current
research indicates that Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon did not co-generate
offspring. Furthermore, the Neanderthal is thought to have become
extinct around 30 KBP whereas the Tocharian enter stage right
considerably later. To address the size of the chest cavity and/or any
physical capability (excluding speech mechanisms and cognitive
functioning) I am sure such variations in physical attributes can be
explained in a similar way that "racial" differences are currently
understood.

If you haven't done so already, I have as part of my profile a website
that you might like to explore. This is one I recently added in place
of another website equally pertinent to this topic. This is the older
website: https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html

Of course you can access the current website by clicking on my profile.

In preparing to write a fictional piece that is to a large extent
situated in any time and space other than my own, requires many months
of research, if not years, to gather a true sense of place and time and
being. As I've matured my patience is greater and, consequently my
enjoyment of this process has grown proportionately.

What I have found most curious about this particular artistic endeavor
is that I have been fighting using humor for fear that the humor would
be anachronistic. But more and more, trusting in our similarities --
those of Cro-Magnon and modern man -- I have found through humor
another perspective that is enriching my research. Humor is a very
natural element (strategy) in the learning process. If you know
anything about children or the process of developing self-efficacy then
you know what I am talking about. One cannot be self-conscious and not
find humor an effective strategy to deal with embarrassment and
conflict. For example, in wolves and many other social animals we see
the Alpha males and females being cajoled by those of lesser status ...
humor is used as a way of being accepted as well as a way to test
(establish?) one's dominance. Contrarily, it is noticeably clear that
alpha males, e.g. in baboon troupes, do not use humor to mate. In fact
they can be quite belligerent and still get their way. Of course the
female baboon has little choice.

I am mentioning this because I have found no reference to humor in any
of the scientific anthropological studies of pre-historic humans.
Furthermore, it is clear from some of those scientists who post here
that scientists take themselves and their work very seriously. I
wonder if this seriousness isn't also a strategy to establish
themselves as dominant? But what might work in the field of science
may be disastrous in other arenas ~ after all, they are not baboons.
;-)
Daryl Krupa
2006-04-09 17:19:07 UTC
Permalink
Holly wrote:
<snip>
Post by Holly
If you haven't done so already, I have as part of my profile a website
that you might like to explore. This is one I recently added in place
of another website equally pertinent to this topic. This is the older
website: https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html
Of course you can access the current website by clicking on my profile.
<snip>

Holly:
Just so's you knows, the maps in the "Atlas" part of that NatGeog
site
are unreliable, re: paleoenvironment.
The most obvious failing is the depiction of ice coverage.

The definitive survey of glacial limits over the last 40,000 years in
North
America indicates that there has been no icy barrier to migration from
Alaska to the southern U.S. except from about 30,000 to about 12,500
years ago:
"The Late Wisconsinan advance of the Laurentide Ice Sheet started from
a Middle Wisconsinan interstadial minimum 27-30 14C ka BP when the
ice margin approximately followed the boundary of the Canadian Shield."

http://cgrg.geog.uvic.ca/abstracts/DykeTheThe.html

If people could get to Alaska by 25 ka BP,
they could have walked from there to Tierra del Fuego.

And now, details of how the maps are wrong:

The National Geographic's Genographic Project has
a static, simplistic mapping of ice extent.
Apart from the 200,00 B.C. map, which has a
version of a glaciated Canadian Arctic Archipelago
that I've never seen before, there is only one
version of ice extent prior to the Last Glacial Maximum.
There should be at least two, for
the Early and Middle parts of the last glacial episode,
i.e. the Early Wisconsinan Stade and the
Middle Wisconsinan Interstade in North America.
There should have been an almost complete disappearance
of West Coast Cordilleran ice on the 40,000-30,000 B.C.
maps (and maybe on earlier maps), and a retreat of the
Laurentide Ice Sheet almost to the first "A" in "America".
I would also have expected a depiction of some
contraction of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet then.
On the maps for the period 30,000-15,000 B.C. there are
a couple of very large lakes northeast of the Caspian Sea,
in western Siberia. The last time that there could have
been any such lakes there would have been 90,000 years ago,
and the West Siberian ice sheet that would have dammed them
also could not have existed since then. The major proponent
of such lakes admitted as much (though not explicitly)
about five years ago, but the evidence for their recent
existence was never strong. At the LGM, the Fennoscandian
Ice Sheet covered the Russian border area near Finland, but
to the east of the White Sea, the southern edge of the Arctic ice
sheet was north of the modern coastline of Russia; there was
not nearly enough ice on the Russian mainland to dam up river
drainage and create such lakes.

The 15-10,000 B.C. map shows the situation at the
beginning of that period, only.

On the 10-5,000 B.C. map the islands of the Canadian
Arctic Archipelago is again shown as iced-up in their
current coastlines, and that is just not the way it was;
very large parts of those islands were submerged under
seawater, and I cannot think of any justification for
simply including the modern island outline and
presenting them all as glaciated-to-modern-tideline.
Whatever the depiction of the Archipelago, that map
shows the situation at the end of that period, only.

There is no depiction of any time between 15,000 B.C.
and 5,000 B.C.. I would have hoped for a map showing
the beginning of the Holocene, or the onset of the
Younger Dryas, or _something_ to show one of the most
important climatic changes in the history of our species.

There are also problems withthe shoreline depictions,
notably for Beringia.

Altogether, a poor showing.

-
Daryl Krupa
Holly
2006-04-09 20:03:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Holly
If you haven't done so already, I have as part of my profile a website
that you might like to explore. This is one I recently added in place
of another website equally pertinent to this topic. This is the older
website: https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html
Of course you can access the current website by clicking on my profile.
<snip>
Just so's you knows, the maps in the "Atlas" part of that NatGeog
site
are unreliable, re: paleoenvironment.
The most obvious failing is the depiction of ice coverage.
The definitive survey of glacial limits over the last 40,000 years in
North
America indicates that there has been no icy barrier to migration from
Alaska to the southern U.S. except from about 30,000 to about 12,500
"The Late Wisconsinan advance of the Laurentide Ice Sheet started from
a Middle Wisconsinan interstadial minimum 27-30 14C ka BP when the
ice margin approximately followed the boundary of the Canadian Shield."
http://cgrg.geog.uvic.ca/abstracts/DykeTheThe.html
If people could get to Alaska by 25 ka BP,
they could have walked from there to Tierra del Fuego.
The National Geographic's Genographic Project has
a static, simplistic mapping of ice extent.
Apart from the 200,00 B.C. map, which has a
version of a glaciated Canadian Arctic Archipelago
that I've never seen before, there is only one
version of ice extent prior to the Last Glacial Maximum.
There should be at least two, for
the Early and Middle parts of the last glacial episode,
i.e. the Early Wisconsinan Stade and the
Middle Wisconsinan Interstade in North America.
There should have been an almost complete disappearance
of West Coast Cordilleran ice on the 40,000-30,000 B.C.
maps (and maybe on earlier maps), and a retreat of the
Laurentide Ice Sheet almost to the first "A" in "America".
I would also have expected a depiction of some
contraction of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet then.
On the maps for the period 30,000-15,000 B.C. there are
a couple of very large lakes northeast of the Caspian Sea,
in western Siberia. The last time that there could have
been any such lakes there would have been 90,000 years ago,
and the West Siberian ice sheet that would have dammed them
also could not have existed since then. The major proponent
of such lakes admitted as much (though not explicitly)
about five years ago, but the evidence for their recent
existence was never strong. At the LGM, the Fennoscandian
Ice Sheet covered the Russian border area near Finland, but
to the east of the White Sea, the southern edge of the Arctic ice
sheet was north of the modern coastline of Russia; there was
not nearly enough ice on the Russian mainland to dam up river
drainage and create such lakes.
The 15-10,000 B.C. map shows the situation at the
beginning of that period, only.
On the 10-5,000 B.C. map the islands of the Canadian
Arctic Archipelago is again shown as iced-up in their
current coastlines, and that is just not the way it was;
very large parts of those islands were submerged under
seawater, and I cannot think of any justification for
simply including the modern island outline and
presenting them all as glaciated-to-modern-tideline.
Whatever the depiction of the Archipelago, that map
shows the situation at the end of that period, only.
There is no depiction of any time between 15,000 B.C.
and 5,000 B.C.. I would have hoped for a map showing
the beginning of the Holocene, or the onset of the
Younger Dryas, or _something_ to show one of the most
important climatic changes in the history of our species.
There are also problems withthe shoreline depictions,
notably for Beringia.
Altogether, a poor showing.
-
Daryl Krupa
Thank you for that assessment. I'd like to study the correct depiction
of climate change in Europe and Eurasia from 50 kbp to about 10 kbp.
Do you have any reference for me?
I have the Penguin Atlas of Ancient History by McEvedly first published
in 1967 ... sad comment on my resources for climate change during that
time and place.
Daryl Krupa
2006-04-10 03:28:23 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Holly
Thank you for that assessment. I'd like to study the correct depiction
of climate change in Europe and Eurasia from 50 kbp to about 10 kbp.
That would be the
middle (or "mid-") and Late Weichselian (or "Weichsel") in northern
Europe
(Wurm or "Wurmian" in the Alps), and the
Khalvinian (or "middle Valdai") and Valdai in Russia,
and the last glaciation is called the Sartan in Siberia.

The last glacial limit (Late Weichselian) is called the Last Glacial
Maximum
that last glacial episode is the Late Weichwelian stade (or "stadial")
(isotope stage 2),
the preceding not-very-cold-but-still-not-as-warm-a-today interval is
the
mid-Weichselian interstade
(isotope stage 3).
Post by Holly
Do you have any reference for me?
If you have access to scientific periodicals, this is the best
review:

John Inge Svendsen, Helena Alexanderson, Valery I. Astakhov,
Igor Demidov, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Svend Funder, Valery Gataullin,
Mona Henriksen, Christian Hjort, Michael Houmark-Nielsen,
Hans W. Hubberte, Ólafur Ingólfsson, Martin Jakobsson, Kurt H. Kjær,

Eiliv Larsenn, Hanna Lokrantz, Juha Pekka Lunkka, Astrid Lyså,
Jan Mangerud, Alexei Matiouchkov, Andrew Murray, Per Möller,
Frank Niessen, Olga Nikolskaya, Leonid Polyak, Matti Saarnisto,
Christine Siegert, Martin J. Siegert, Robert F. Spielhagen and
Ruediger Stein
2004
Late Quaternary ice sheet history of northern Eurasia
Quaternary Science Reviews
vol:23 iss:11-13 pg:1229-1271

http://www.uib.no/People/ngljm/Svendsen_et_al_2004,_QSR.pdf

The most useful bits of that info are in here:

Ice-dammed lakes and rerouting of the drainage of northern
Eurasia during the Last Glaciation
Jan Mangerud, Martin Jakobsson, Helena Alexanderson, Valery Astakhov,
Garry K.C. Clarke, Mona Henriksen, Christian Hjort, Gerhard Krinner,
Juha-Pekka Lunkka, Per Moller, Andrew Murray, Olga Nikolskaya,
Matti Saarnisto, John Inge Svendsen
Quaternary Science Reviews 23 (2004) 1313-1332

http://www.uib.no/People/ngljm/Mangerud_et_al_2004,_QSR_.pdf

There is also this:

Hans W. Hubberten, Andrei Andreev, Valery I. Astakhov, et al.
2004
The periglacial climate and environment in northern Eurasia during the
last glaciation
Quaternary Science Reviews vol:23 iss:11-13 pg:1333-1357

"
Abstract
[ ... ]
Inversed modelling based on these results shows that a progressive
cooling
which started around 30 ka BP, caused ice growth in Scandinavia and the

northwestern areas of the Barents-Kara Sea shelf, due to a maritime
climate
with relatively high precipitation along the western flank of the
developing ice
sheets. In the rest of the Eurasian Arctic extremely low precipitation
rates
(less than 50 mm yr-1), did not allow ice sheet growth in spite of
the very
cold temperatures. Palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental conditions
for
the time prior to, during, and after the LGM have been reconstructed
for the
non-glaciated areas around the LGM ice sheet with the use of faunal and

vegetation records, permafrost, eolian sediments, alluvial deposits and
other
evidences. The changing environment, from interstadial conditions
around
30 ka BP to a much colder and drier environment at the culmination of
the
LGM at 20-15 ka BP, and the beginning of warming around 15 ka BP have

been elaborated from the field data, which fits well with the modelling
results.
"

You might also try this:

Velichko, A A; Zelikson, E M
2005
Landscape, climate and mammoth food resources in the East European
Plain during the late Paleolithic epoch
Quaternary International vol:126-128 pg:137-151

"
Abstract
Typical mammoth inhabited the East European Plain during the second
half of the Late Pleistocene glaciation. Under conditions of extremely
arid climate, periglacial, mostly open landscapes formed a vast
hyperzone (cryohyperzone) that occupied the place of the modern tundra,
forest and steppe zones. To assess the available foodstuffs for mammoth
provision, data concerning productivity and nutritive value of modern
herb and grass vegetation that may be considered as more or less close
analogues of periglacial communities can be used. The central part of
the Late Pleistocene periglacial hyperzone was most favorable for
mammoths. Those regions were well endowed with water (in large rivers,
as well as snow and ice) and presented the richest fodder base, because
trees and bushes persisted in valleys, while higher watersheds were
occupied by periglacial steppe.

Climate warming and consequent degradation of permafrost resulted in
instability of the land surface, thermokarst, and expansion of
wetlands. The snow thickness increased due to more abundant snowfall in
winter and made grazing difficult for mammoths. The first interstadial
warming affected the less hardy early mammoths, while the progressive
warming towards the Holocene appeared fatal to the typical mammoth.
"

Mangerud and Astakhov (and Velichko) are the most prolific writers on

this subject; ignore anything with Mikhail Grosswald as an author.

And then there is this group:

http://www.esc.cam.ac.uk/oistage3/Details/Homepage.html
Post by Holly
I have the Penguin Atlas of Ancient History by McEvedly first published
in 1967 ... sad comment on my resources for climate change during that
time and place.
McEvedy's okay as a general reference, but you'll note that for the
Soviet
Union, at least, the data sources are rather sketchy.
I only saw one reference for the population of that area at 1 AD,
for instance, and that was only for Turkestan, and that was descibed as

unreliable for the time before the 19th Century Russian conquest.

Here is an older version of Jonathan Adams' website that has lots and

lots of info, including paleovegetation maps (some lof its inks are
outdated,
but I can't find the 2002 version anymore):

http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html


Is any of that useful to you, or did you want something less abstruse?

-
Daryl Krupa
Holly
2006-04-10 23:11:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Holly
Thank you for that assessment. I'd like to study the correct depiction
of climate change in Europe and Eurasia from 50 kbp to about 10 kbp.
That would be the
middle (or "mid-") and Late Weichselian (or "Weichsel") in northern
Europe
(Wurm or "Wurmian" in the Alps), and the
Khalvinian (or "middle Valdai") and Valdai in Russia,
and the last glaciation is called the Sartan in Siberia.
The last glacial limit (Late Weichselian) is called the Last Glacial
Maximum
that last glacial episode is the Late Weichwelian stade (or "stadial")
(isotope stage 2),
the preceding not-very-cold-but-still-not-as-warm-a-today interval is
the
mid-Weichselian interstade
(isotope stage 3).
Post by Holly
Do you have any reference for me?
If you have access to scientific periodicals, this is the best
John Inge Svendsen, Helena Alexanderson, Valery I. Astakhov,
Igor Demidov, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Svend Funder, Valery Gataullin,
Mona Henriksen, Christian Hjort, Michael Houmark-Nielsen,
Hans W. Hubberte, Ólafur Ingólfsson, Martin Jakobsson, Kurt H. Kjær,
Eiliv Larsenn, Hanna Lokrantz, Juha Pekka Lunkka, Astrid Lyså,
Jan Mangerud, Alexei Matiouchkov, Andrew Murray, Per Möller,
Frank Niessen, Olga Nikolskaya, Leonid Polyak, Matti Saarnisto,
Christine Siegert, Martin J. Siegert, Robert F. Spielhagen and
Ruediger Stein
2004
Late Quaternary ice sheet history of northern Eurasia
Quaternary Science Reviews
vol:23 iss:11-13 pg:1229-1271
http://www.uib.no/People/ngljm/Svendsen_et_al_2004,_QSR.pdf
Ice-dammed lakes and rerouting of the drainage of northern
Eurasia during the Last Glaciation
Jan Mangerud, Martin Jakobsson, Helena Alexanderson, Valery Astakhov,
Garry K.C. Clarke, Mona Henriksen, Christian Hjort, Gerhard Krinner,
Juha-Pekka Lunkka, Per Moller, Andrew Murray, Olga Nikolskaya,
Matti Saarnisto, John Inge Svendsen
Quaternary Science Reviews 23 (2004) 1313-1332
http://www.uib.no/People/ngljm/Mangerud_et_al_2004,_QSR_.pdf
Hans W. Hubberten, Andrei Andreev, Valery I. Astakhov, et al.
2004
The periglacial climate and environment in northern Eurasia during the
last glaciation
Quaternary Science Reviews vol:23 iss:11-13 pg:1333-1357
"
Abstract
[ ... ]
Inversed modelling based on these results shows that a progressive
cooling
which started around 30 ka BP, caused ice growth in Scandinavia and the
northwestern areas of the Barents-Kara Sea shelf, due to a maritime
climate
with relatively high precipitation along the western flank of the
developing ice
sheets. In the rest of the Eurasian Arctic extremely low precipitation
rates
(less than 50 mm yr-1), did not allow ice sheet growth in spite of
the very
cold temperatures. Palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental conditions
for
the time prior to, during, and after the LGM have been reconstructed
for the
non-glaciated areas around the LGM ice sheet with the use of faunal and
vegetation records, permafrost, eolian sediments, alluvial deposits and
other
evidences. The changing environment, from interstadial conditions
around
30 ka BP to a much colder and drier environment at the culmination of
the
LGM at 20-15 ka BP, and the beginning of warming around 15 ka BP have
been elaborated from the field data, which fits well with the modelling
results.
"
Velichko, A A; Zelikson, E M
2005
Landscape, climate and mammoth food resources in the East European
Plain during the late Paleolithic epoch
Quaternary International vol:126-128 pg:137-151
"
Abstract
Typical mammoth inhabited the East European Plain during the second
half of the Late Pleistocene glaciation. Under conditions of extremely
arid climate, periglacial, mostly open landscapes formed a vast
hyperzone (cryohyperzone) that occupied the place of the modern tundra,
forest and steppe zones. To assess the available foodstuffs for mammoth
provision, data concerning productivity and nutritive value of modern
herb and grass vegetation that may be considered as more or less close
analogues of periglacial communities can be used. The central part of
the Late Pleistocene periglacial hyperzone was most favorable for
mammoths. Those regions were well endowed with water (in large rivers,
as well as snow and ice) and presented the richest fodder base, because
trees and bushes persisted in valleys, while higher watersheds were
occupied by periglacial steppe.
Climate warming and consequent degradation of permafrost resulted in
instability of the land surface, thermokarst, and expansion of
wetlands. The snow thickness increased due to more abundant snowfall in
winter and made grazing difficult for mammoths. The first interstadial
warming affected the less hardy early mammoths, while the progressive
warming towards the Holocene appeared fatal to the typical mammoth.
"
Mangerud and Astakhov (and Velichko) are the most prolific writers on
this subject; ignore anything with Mikhail Grosswald as an author.
http://www.esc.cam.ac.uk/oistage3/Details/Homepage.html
Post by Holly
I have the Penguin Atlas of Ancient History by McEvedly first published
in 1967 ... sad comment on my resources for climate change during that
time and place.
McEvedy's okay as a general reference, but you'll note that for the
Soviet
Union, at least, the data sources are rather sketchy.
I only saw one reference for the population of that area at 1 AD,
for instance, and that was only for Turkestan, and that was descibed as
unreliable for the time before the 19th Century Russian conquest.
Here is an older version of Jonathan Adams' website that has lots and
lots of info, including paleovegetation maps (some lof its inks are
outdated,
http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html
Is any of that useful to you, or did you want something less abstruse?
-
Daryl Krupa
I like it just fine ... and thanks. How exciting! Paleovegetation! I
am quite serious about all this. (Muttered <it amazes me how so many
in this NG think others do not understand the English language>) But
you won't be testing will you? <g>
;-)
Daryl Krupa
2006-04-11 00:29:49 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Holly
Post by Daryl Krupa
The last glacial limit (Late Weichselian) is called the Last Glacial
Maximum
that last glacial episode is the Late Weichwelian stade (or "stadial")
(isotope stage 2),
the preceding not-very-cold-but-still-not-as-warm-a-today interval is
the
mid-Weichselian interstade
(isotope stage 3).
<snip>

I forgot to mention:
the pre-LGM isotope stage 3 interstadial is also called the
Briansk (or "Bryansk") time, in European Russia.
Post by Holly
I like it just fine ... and thanks. How exciting! Paleovegetation! I
am quite serious about all this. (Muttered <it amazes me how so many
in this NG think others do not understand the English language>) But
you won't be testing will you? <g>
;-)
Nyet.
What you do with that info is your business, I'm sure.
Das vedanyeh.

-
Daryl Krupa
Paul J Kriha
2006-04-11 05:58:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Holly
Post by Daryl Krupa
The last glacial limit (Late Weichselian) is called the Last Glacial
Maximum
that last glacial episode is the Late Weichwelian stade (or "stadial")
(isotope stage 2),
the preceding not-very-cold-but-still-not-as-warm-a-today interval is
the
mid-Weichselian interstade
(isotope stage 3).
<snip>
the pre-LGM isotope stage 3 interstadial is also called the
Briansk (or "Bryansk") time, in European Russia.
Post by Holly
I like it just fine ... and thanks. How exciting! Paleovegetation! I
am quite serious about all this. (Muttered <it amazes me how so many
in this NG think others do not understand the English language>) But
you won't be testing will you? <g>
;-)
Nyet.
What you do with that info is your business, I'm sure.
Das vedanyeh.
Das vedanyeh? Dzhee zusvepd! :-)
pjk
Post by Daryl Krupa
-
Daryl Krupa
rmacfarl
2006-04-12 07:58:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daryl Krupa
<snip>
Post by Holly
Thank you for that assessment. I'd like to study the correct depiction
of climate change in Europe and Eurasia from 50 kbp to about 10 kbp.
That would be the
middle (or "mid-") and Late Weichselian (or "Weichsel") in northern
Europe
(Wurm or "Wurmian" in the Alps), and the
Khalvinian (or "middle Valdai") and Valdai in Russia,
and the last glaciation is called the Sartan in Siberia.
The last glacial limit (Late Weichselian) is called the Last Glacial
Maximum
that last glacial episode is the Late Weichwelian stade (or "stadial")
(isotope stage 2),
the preceding not-very-cold-but-still-not-as-warm-a-today interval is
the
mid-Weichselian interstade
(isotope stage 3).
Post by Holly
Do you have any reference for me?
If you have access to scientific periodicals, this is the best
John Inge Svendsen, Helena Alexanderson, Valery I. Astakhov,
Igor Demidov, Julian A. Dowdeswell, Svend Funder, Valery Gataullin,
Mona Henriksen, Christian Hjort, Michael Houmark-Nielsen,
Hans W. Hubberte, Ólafur Ingólfsson, Martin Jakobsson, Kurt H. Kjær,
Eiliv Larsenn, Hanna Lokrantz, Juha Pekka Lunkka, Astrid Lyså,
Jan Mangerud, Alexei Matiouchkov, Andrew Murray, Per Möller,
Frank Niessen, Olga Nikolskaya, Leonid Polyak, Matti Saarnisto,
Christine Siegert, Martin J. Siegert, Robert F. Spielhagen and
Ruediger Stein
2004
Late Quaternary ice sheet history of northern Eurasia
Quaternary Science Reviews
vol:23 iss:11-13 pg:1229-1271
http://www.uib.no/People/ngljm/Svendsen_et_al_2004,_QSR.pdf
Ice-dammed lakes and rerouting of the drainage of northern
Eurasia during the Last Glaciation
Jan Mangerud, Martin Jakobsson, Helena Alexanderson, Valery Astakhov,
Garry K.C. Clarke, Mona Henriksen, Christian Hjort, Gerhard Krinner,
Juha-Pekka Lunkka, Per Moller, Andrew Murray, Olga Nikolskaya,
Matti Saarnisto, John Inge Svendsen
Quaternary Science Reviews 23 (2004) 1313-1332
http://www.uib.no/People/ngljm/Mangerud_et_al_2004,_QSR_.pdf
Hans W. Hubberten, Andrei Andreev, Valery I. Astakhov, et al.
2004
The periglacial climate and environment in northern Eurasia during the
last glaciation
Quaternary Science Reviews vol:23 iss:11-13 pg:1333-1357
"
Abstract
[ ... ]
Inversed modelling based on these results shows that a progressive
cooling
which started around 30 ka BP, caused ice growth in Scandinavia and the
northwestern areas of the Barents-Kara Sea shelf, due to a maritime
climate
with relatively high precipitation along the western flank of the
developing ice
sheets. In the rest of the Eurasian Arctic extremely low precipitation
rates
(less than 50 mm yr-1), did not allow ice sheet growth in spite of
the very
cold temperatures. Palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental conditions
for
the time prior to, during, and after the LGM have been reconstructed
for the
non-glaciated areas around the LGM ice sheet with the use of faunal and
vegetation records, permafrost, eolian sediments, alluvial deposits and
other
evidences. The changing environment, from interstadial conditions
around
30 ka BP to a much colder and drier environment at the culmination of
the
LGM at 20-15 ka BP, and the beginning of warming around 15 ka BP have
been elaborated from the field data, which fits well with the modelling
results.
"
Velichko, A A; Zelikson, E M
2005
Landscape, climate and mammoth food resources in the East European
Plain during the late Paleolithic epoch
Quaternary International vol:126-128 pg:137-151
"
Abstract
Typical mammoth inhabited the East European Plain during the second
half of the Late Pleistocene glaciation. Under conditions of extremely
arid climate, periglacial, mostly open landscapes formed a vast
hyperzone (cryohyperzone) that occupied the place of the modern tundra,
forest and steppe zones. To assess the available foodstuffs for mammoth
provision, data concerning productivity and nutritive value of modern
herb and grass vegetation that may be considered as more or less close
analogues of periglacial communities can be used. The central part of
the Late Pleistocene periglacial hyperzone was most favorable for
mammoths. Those regions were well endowed with water (in large rivers,
as well as snow and ice) and presented the richest fodder base, because
trees and bushes persisted in valleys, while higher watersheds were
occupied by periglacial steppe.
Climate warming and consequent degradation of permafrost resulted in
instability of the land surface, thermokarst, and expansion of
wetlands. The snow thickness increased due to more abundant snowfall in
winter and made grazing difficult for mammoths. The first interstadial
warming affected the less hardy early mammoths, while the progressive
warming towards the Holocene appeared fatal to the typical mammoth.
"
Mangerud and Astakhov (and Velichko) are the most prolific writers on
this subject; ignore anything with Mikhail Grosswald as an author.
Way cool! I love those colour maps of the inferred glacial maxima.

I was fascinated by the way the ice sheet covered a bigger area of the
Barents Sea in the east in the earlier period, & a lesser area in the
east, but there was a greater spread of the Scandinavian ice sheet in
the west at the LGM than in the earlier periods. I was too time-poor
(post-modern for "lazy") to read the detail, but have the authors
attempted to link these regional variations with Malenkovitch cycles /
precession of the earth's orbit or anything like that?

Cheers,

Ross Macfarlane

Day Brown
2006-04-09 22:32:02 UTC
Permalink
Ya, humor is hard to track. But Bonobos and Chimps seem to delight in
certain aspects of their setting in which surprise is followed by
relief.

As for the hominid hybridization, its lots more complicated than anyone
imagined. Perhaps you remember "Sperm Wars"? In any case, there is
considerable variation in the mobility and/or duration of sperm. Longer
lived sperm from one donor mite very well be present with faster moving
sperm of a later donor.

Moreover, conception aint all its cracked up to be. In the natural
conditions, it takes the presence of a myriad of sperm to deliver an
enzyme that makes the ovum wall permeable. And when it is, there are
times when more than one sperm is present. This is no biggie if both
are XX or XY, but when there is one of each present, hermaphroditism is
a common result. And it turns out, that that is far more common (now
that medical personnel are more professional) than once imagined. I
have met two people in two different states that have XXY; in one case
apparently male, but the other, a ballsy blonde, as she neared
menopause was having problems. When they did the ultrasound, they
discovered that *she* really was ballsy. She had undescended testes.

She's decided to keep them; its been good for her career.

But anyway, when you look into how long the ovum wall remains
permeable, and how the DNA actually interacts, you see there is no
"moment of conception", and that while we all only have one mother,
some of us have more than one Y chromosome donor.

Which brings us to the Neanderthal. Even tho all the chromosomes dont
line up perfectly, that aint they way they join anyway. quite often it
dont just zip up like a new jacket, but more like an old one, with
loops of code left hanging out there that may, or may not, join later,
or that may be joined with a stretch of code from another sperm donor.

So even tho none of us may have a pure Neanderthal Y chromosome, some
of us clearly have snippets of HNS code that endows us with fair skin,
light hair and eyes, shortened forlimbs and digits, as well as an HNS
spectrum of hormones that make Native Europeans tolerate cabin fever.

This same process works with many other species, which is why horses
and donkeys, which are more different than HNS & HSS, sometimes do
produce a sexually fertile mule. But- understandably, because the
female reproductive process is so much more complex, they are all
Jacks. This complicated hybridization wiped out all of the Neanderthal
mtDNA, which is the only kind of DNA that is stable enough to be
examined at this late date. So, everyone assumed that no Neanderthal
DNA remains. But no Y chromosome DNA of Homo Sapiens exists from that
era either.

The hybridization is process is not yet entirely complete, which is why
there still are so many Native European women with fertility and
birthing problems. In the era before modern medicine, the maternal
mortality rate was much higher for European women than any other kind,
which made them more rare, and therefore valuable to the men that could
afford them.

And thus we have the trophy blonde wife.
Holly
2006-04-09 23:30:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
Ya, humor is hard to track. But Bonobos and Chimps seem to delight in
certain aspects of their setting in which surprise is followed by
relief.
As for the hominid hybridization, its lots more complicated than anyone
imagined. Perhaps you remember "Sperm Wars"? In any case, there is
considerable variation in the mobility and/or duration of sperm. Longer
lived sperm from one donor mite very well be present with faster moving
sperm of a later donor.
Moreover, conception aint all its cracked up to be. In the natural
conditions, it takes the presence of a myriad of sperm to deliver an
enzyme that makes the ovum wall permeable. And when it is, there are
times when more than one sperm is present. This is no biggie if both
are XX or XY, but when there is one of each present, hermaphroditism is
a common result. And it turns out, that that is far more common (now
that medical personnel are more professional) than once imagined. I
have met two people in two different states that have XXY; in one case
apparently male, but the other, a ballsy blonde, as she neared
menopause was having problems. When they did the ultrasound, they
discovered that *she* really was ballsy. She had undescended testes.
She's decided to keep them; its been good for her career.
But anyway, when you look into how long the ovum wall remains
permeable, and how the DNA actually interacts, you see there is no
"moment of conception", and that while we all only have one mother,
some of us have more than one Y chromosome donor.
Which brings us to the Neanderthal. Even tho all the chromosomes dont
line up perfectly, that aint they way they join anyway. quite often it
dont just zip up like a new jacket, but more like an old one, with
loops of code left hanging out there that may, or may not, join later,
or that may be joined with a stretch of code from another sperm donor.
So even tho none of us may have a pure Neanderthal Y chromosome, some
of us clearly have snippets of HNS code that endows us with fair skin,
light hair and eyes, shortened forlimbs and digits, as well as an HNS
spectrum of hormones that make Native Europeans tolerate cabin fever.
This same process works with many other species, which is why horses
and donkeys, which are more different than HNS & HSS, sometimes do
produce a sexually fertile mule. But- understandably, because the
female reproductive process is so much more complex, they are all
Jacks. This complicated hybridization wiped out all of the Neanderthal
mtDNA, which is the only kind of DNA that is stable enough to be
examined at this late date. So, everyone assumed that no Neanderthal
DNA remains. But no Y chromosome DNA of Homo Sapiens exists from that
era either.
The hybridization is process is not yet entirely complete, which is why
there still are so many Native European women with fertility and
birthing problems. In the era before modern medicine, the maternal
mortality rate was much higher for European women than any other kind,
which made them more rare, and therefore valuable to the men that could
afford them.
And thus we have the trophy blonde wife.
Hmm...very interesting. Can you give me a reference? I'd like to
Post by Day Brown
with loops of code left hanging out there that may, or may not, join later."
António Marques
2006-04-10 01:45:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
(...)
And thus we have the trophy blonde wife.
Hmm...very interesting. Can you give me a reference? I'd like to
What he wrote is joyful nonsense, as anyone with any knowlege of
genetics may explain to you, if only they can find the patience,
but ->
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
with loops of code left hanging out there that may, or may not, join later."
-> this particular part you're interested in is not too travestite. In
short, people have 23 chromosome pairs
(http://www.medgen.ubc.ca/wrobinson/mosaic/chromosome.htm), including
the pair of 'sexual' chromosomes, which is both X in women and X plus Y
in men. When sperm/ova are produced they only carry one element of each
pair, and that element is not just picked at random from the two - which
would be enough to allow an enormous amount of combinations, since the
choice could fall either way each of the 23 times. No, the process of
sperm/ova formation also includes a time for swapping chromosome chunks
between the two elements in the pair - equivalent chunks, ensuring that
the results are structurally wholesome. That way, offspring diversity is
immensely above just what could be obtained by distributing each pair
element at random.

This is why though all the DNA in any given element of any of your
chromosome pairs comes from one of your parents, but not necessarily
from the same element.

The process of chunk swapping, called crossing-over, requires that the
two elements in each pair actually come together aligned ('pair'), which
is something they don't do during normal cell life (nor during normal
cell division, mitosis). Once aligned*, chunks are swapped; once
swapped, each element migrates away to a different side of cell.

During alignment, as I said, equivalent parts are matched. However, some
of the processes of genetic evolution are the transposition of chunks
from one part of the chromosome to another, the inversion of a
particular chunk, duplication of chunk, deletion, etc. All of these make
it that different species have different chromosome structure. When very
similar species sucessfully cross-breed, their offspring is usually
sterile because its mother-chromosomes aren't able to align with the
father-chromosomes. However, when the structural differences are small,
the chromosomes may still be able to pair, and sperm/ova be formed:

Chromosome 1: -abcdefghijklmn-
Chromosome 2: -abcdklmnefghij-

may pair if the efghij segments bend over the klmn


Chromosome 1: -abcdefghijklmn-
Chromosome 2: -abcdjihgfeklmn-

may pair if one of the efghij loops over itself


Chromosome 1: -abcdefghijklmn-
Chromosome 2: -abcdklmn-

may pair if the efghij segment just loops out of the track, it won't
pair with anything but there may be no harm


In fact, DNA is more than willing to bend over backwards in order for
chromosomes to pair. Within genetically diverse species, it's likely
that some stretching happens. In those cases where there's a continuum
with cross-breeding adjacents and non-breeding extremes, structural
differences probably accumulate along the continuum until the point
where they do make a difference. Nothing of this, however, is black
magic, rocket science, or has anything to do with blond female mortality
rate during the middle ages.

You want a reference? At first look,
http://www.zoo.utoronto.ca/able/volumes/vol-24/mini.4.tobin-janzen.pdf
seems interesting.

(*) Actually, before the alignment, each element first replicates itself
as if for normal cell division, so what comes together aligned are 4
elements, and accordingly meiosis ends up producing 4 gametes per
original cell. The reasons for such a 'complication' are unknown, and
it's not satisfactory to say that that's just because meiosis evolved
out of mitosis.
--
am

laurus : rhodophyta : brezoneg : smalltalk : stargate
Holly
2006-04-11 00:13:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by António Marques
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
(...)
And thus we have the trophy blonde wife.
Hmm...very interesting. Can you give me a reference? I'd like to
What he wrote is joyful nonsense, as anyone with any knowlege of
genetics may explain to you, if only they can find the patience,
but ->
Post by Holly
Post by Day Brown
with loops of code left hanging out there that may, or may not, join later."
-> this particular part you're interested in is not too travestite. In
short, people have 23 chromosome pairs
(http://www.medgen.ubc.ca/wrobinson/mosaic/chromosome.htm), including
the pair of 'sexual' chromosomes, which is both X in women and X plus Y
in men. When sperm/ova are produced they only carry one element of each
pair, and that element is not just picked at random from the two - which
would be enough to allow an enormous amount of combinations, since the
choice could fall either way each of the 23 times. No, the process of
sperm/ova formation also includes a time for swapping chromosome chunks
between the two elements in the pair - equivalent chunks, ensuring that
the results are structurally wholesome. That way, offspring diversity is
immensely above just what could be obtained by distributing each pair
element at random.
This is why though all the DNA in any given element of any of your
chromosome pairs comes from one of your parents, but not necessarily
from the same element.
The process of chunk swapping, called crossing-over, requires that the
two elements in each pair actually come together aligned ('pair'), which
is something they don't do during normal cell life (nor during normal
cell division, mitosis). Once aligned*, chunks are swapped; once
swapped, each element migrates away to a different side of cell.
During alignment, as I said, equivalent parts are matched. However, some
of the processes of genetic evolution are the transposition of chunks
from one part of the chromosome to another, the inversion of a
particular chunk, duplication of chunk, deletion, etc. All of these make
it that different species have different chromosome structure. When very
similar species sucessfully cross-breed, their offspring is usually
sterile because its mother-chromosomes aren't able to align with the
father-chromosomes. However, when the structural differences are small,
But you are saying it is possible that Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon "got
it on" and probably produced some offspring? And why can't we
determine this? Is it as Day Brown explained?
Post by António Marques
Chromosome 1: -abcdefghijklmn-
Chromosome 2: -abcdklmnefghij-
may pair if the efghij segments bend over the klmn
Chromosome 1: -abcdefghijklmn-
Chromosome 2: -abcdjihgfeklmn-
may pair if one of the efghij loops over itself
Chromosome 1: -abcdefghijklmn-
Chromosome 2: -abcdklmn-
may pair if the efghij segment just loops out of the track, it won't
pair with anything but there may be no harm
In fact, DNA is more than willing to bend over backwards in order for
chromosomes to pair.
I like this image ...
Post by António Marques
Within genetically diverse species, it's likely
that some stretching happens. In those cases where there's a continuum
with cross-breeding adjacents and non-breeding extremes, structural
differences probably accumulate along the continuum until the point
where they do make a difference. Nothing of this, however, is black
magic, rocket science, or has anything to do with blond female mortality
rate during the middle ages.
You want a reference? At first look,
http://www.zoo.utoronto.ca/able/volumes/vol-24/mini.4.tobin-janzen.pdf
seems interesting.
(*) Actually, before the alignment, each element first replicates itself
as if for normal cell division, so what comes together aligned are 4
elements, and accordingly meiosis ends up producing 4 gametes per
original cell. The reasons for such a 'complication' are unknown, and
it's not satisfactory to say that that's just because meiosis evolved
out of mitosis.
This requires some study to fully understand. With my rapidly
metaphorizing* mind I immediately thought of sound waves ... "If a
crest and a trough having the same shape meet up with one another while
traveling in opposite directions along a medium, the two pulses will
cancel each other's effect upon the displacement of the medium and the
medium will assume the equilibrium position. This type of interference
is known as destructive interference." Hmmm.

Thanks. I will study the pdf file from UToronto.
Day Brown
2006-04-10 03:33:08 UTC
Permalink
Thanx for the links!
Since I am a bastard, this DNA test is on my wish list. This is also
the best price I've seen, making me wonder if waiting will save me even
more money. And of course, as more tests get taken more accuracy is
possible.
https://www3.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/index.html

The earliest shroom iconography I had seen before this link was 7kbp,
in Gimbutas found in Slavic Europe.
http://www.shroomery.org/index.php/par/25043
Other sources suggest that the artists were Semitic herders who moved
down to North Africa, based on DNA and pottery styles. And looking at
the images, they look familiar- Pscilocybes, which grow in *cow* shit.
And when you get stoned enough, that kind of art makes a lotta sense.

http://anzi.biz/artifax.htm ... scroll down 5 images to 'maskman.gif.
This little fellow is also from 7kbp, same region as the Amanita
Muscaria shroom art. We've all seen shamen wearing masks of important
animals. I looked at this one for quite a while before I realized what
was going on. This shaman is wearing a mask too, but what animal? If
you are familiar with Cucuteni and Vinca pottery, you've seen this
before. The man is wearing the mask of the most dangerous animal there
is: a man.

Its a shamantic lesson seen all over during altered states of
consciousness, that the human body is not the soul, but just a mask for
the soul. Its a common idea expressed in the Vedas, and what you'd
expect of someone who used Soma, which we see dates back at least 7000
years.
Peter T. Daniels
2006-04-10 14:21:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
Thanx for the links!
Since I am a bastard, this DNA test is on my wish list.
Are you confusing the marital status of your parents at the time of your
birth, with the question of paternity?

Children born within wedlock need not necessarily be the offspring of
their mother's husband.
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
Richard Herring
2006-04-10 09:32:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
Sorry to be so late. My internet access was down for 8 days.
Regarding Chinese & Tocharian... while tonality is critical in Chinese
In *Modern* Chinese. Was it so in neolithic "Chinese"?
Post by Day Brown
and Tocharian relies on suffixes and prefixes, both evolved out of
Neolithic agrarian technologies with a need to plan according to the
seasons, and manage inventory to survive the winter. The ideas of
distance, time, tense, case, and gender were important to both.
Yet Chinese has no grammatical tense, case or gender.
--
Richard Herring
Peter T. Daniels
2006-04-10 14:23:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Herring
Post by Day Brown
Sorry to be so late. My internet access was down for 8 days.
Regarding Chinese & Tocharian... while tonality is critical in Chinese
In *Modern* Chinese. Was it so in neolithic "Chinese"?
What would tonality have to do with it, anyway? Chinese music (broadly
speaking) is pentatonic, so questions of tonal harmony would seem to be
quite beside the point.
Post by Richard Herring
Post by Day Brown
and Tocharian relies on suffixes and prefixes, both evolved out of
Neolithic agrarian technologies with a need to plan according to the
seasons, and manage inventory to survive the winter. The ideas of
distance, time, tense, case, and gender were important to both.
Yet Chinese has no grammatical tense, case or gender.
I'd love to see either a prefix _or_ a suffix evolving from farming
methods! Even an infix would do!
--
Peter T. Daniels ***@att.net
nickname
2006-03-17 23:53:26 UTC
Permalink
Who buried the shaman?
Raja ~-> wicca?
Any idea how old the word canoe might be?
IMO surfboard preceded the canoe.
I think the Proto-Sumerians were engaged in long distance trade,
generally along bodies of water and uprivers, I infer from geographic
names of former trading posts (Somalia, Samaria, Samarkand etc.). Any
link to Tocharians? Seems likely. I don't have good computer, can't
access Raj.
Cakap Melayu
DD
Michael Hearne
2006-04-06 02:50:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Day Brown
< The evolution of cave paintings 35 kya may have been more of a
function
of expanding/larger population, and changes in environment, rather than
something different about our brains. >
Interesting. It occurs to me, that this is the very era when Homo
Neanderthalis and Sapiens were in contact, and therefore sharing
traditions. Quite often we've seen since how, when two cultures meet, a
new art form emerged.
And as for religion, the earliest evidence I know of, of religion, is
the Shanidar Iraq grave where a crippled shamen was ritually buried
with flowers and seven important medicinal herbs. 52,000 years ago. The
shaman was a Neanderthal.
So, it would seem *Neanderthals* invented religion.
I do wonder why, since Neanderthals and Sapiens co-existed, that they
never cross-bred? I think they were mostly segregated. Or was there a
genetic difference, which made cross-breeding impossible?

Why do you assume that burial has to do with religion? It seems just as
plausible to me that the Neanderthals may have buried their dead to
avoid attracting scavengers.

Or perhaps they just didn't like the smell, and didn't want to move.
This might also explain the flowers.

It may be that the Neanderthals invented sanitation, rather than religion.

Michael
Michael Hearne
2006-04-06 02:11:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of Chauvet
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?
Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?
I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.
I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Who knows. Every child traces his hand on a piece of paper at one time
or another, so maybe it was all done by a lot of bored kids.

We are complicated, so we tend to assign complicated theories to the
ancients. I think that their superstitions and religious beliefs were
probably a lot more simple than we presently imagine.

Or else, perhaps they were handing down old knowledge, for which there
was no useful description, their having lost all science.

As far as psychic abilities go, they were a lot closer to nature than we
are today, so they would have had a more natural tendency toward
telepathic ability, whereas today, it must be taught during childhood,
or it will be lost. Mushrooms and cacti probably did play a large role
in enhancing those abilities.

Here are some links that might interest you:

Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson
http://www.gurdjieff.org/beelzebub.htm

In Search of the Miraculous
http://skepdic.com/ouspensk.html

The Jung Page
http://www.cgjungpage.org/

Edgar Cayce
http://www.are-cayce.com/about_edgarcayce/about_edgarcayce.asp

Note that the men in the above references did not use drugs of any kind,
but neither did they live in caves, or use stone tools.


Michael
--
RLU #352695
35.14N - 101.50W
Holly
2006-04-11 00:24:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Hearne
Post by Holly
Greetings,
I am interested in understanding the process of language acquisition
(development) from monosyllabic representative sounds, such as
onomatopoeia <e.g. ruff-ruff and moo> to the use of grammatical
decisions of word order. I have read that in the Aurignacian culture
language was "artificial" -- perhaps not as sophisticated as ours but
on its way. This means 35,000 years ago the advancement of language
was as good as the advancement of artistic know-how .... which was no
less advanced then Picasso (according to his own assessment). Is there
a theory that make sense, that explains the way in which artificial
language evolves and the time it takes from simple grunts of need to
words that express conceptual principles?
Also .. please forgive my lack of knowledge... but did rhinos really
live in Southwest France 35,000 years ago or did the artists of Chauvet
Cave remember them from their nomadic travels?
Is there any evidence that these folks traveled from areas as far as
the great expanse south of the Urals ... perhaps as far as Kazakhstan?
I am fascinated by the red dots found in the Chauvet cave ... the red
ochre palm prints. Could these be systems for counting? The artists
did not live in the cave and they built fires to produce the charcoal
with which they drew ... they were artisans ... perhaps there was a
practical purpose to the red dots ... or perhaps the lack of oxygen in
the caves caused temporary physiological phenomena that in some way
relates to the red dots. I know from having been, on a few occasions,
lightheaded that dots blurred my vision. I am not negating the
possible use of "magic mushrooms" by these early home sapiens, as some
finds have suggested, but I would like to exhaust the possibilities of
the natural effects of the environment first ... before I look at the
art as wholly shamanistic.
I would greatly appreciate any kindly and pertinent guidance you might
offer.
Holly
Who knows. Every child traces his hand on a piece of paper at one time
or another, so maybe it was all done by a lot of bored kids.
We are complicated, so we tend to assign complicated theories to the
ancients. I think that their superstitions and religious beliefs were
probably a lot more simple than we presently imagine.
Or else, perhaps they were handing down old knowledge, for which there
was no useful description, their having lost all science.
As far as psychic abilities go, they were a lot closer to nature than we
are today, so they would have had a more natural tendency toward
telepathic ability, whereas today, it must be taught during childhood,
or it will be lost. Mushrooms and cacti probably did play a large role
in enhancing those abilities.
Beelzebub's Tales to His Grandson
http://www.gurdjieff.org/beelzebub.htm
Thanks Michael but I am not a fan of Gurdjieff.
Post by Michael Hearne
In Search of the Miraculous
http://skepdic.com/ouspensk.html
Nor of Peter Ouspensky's.
Post by Michael Hearne
The Jung Page
http://www.cgjungpage.org/
Yes ... Jung ... has been a favorite of mine since I was a teenager
.... but I am not sure how his theories would benefit my wild tale of
long ago. ;- 0
Post by Michael Hearne
Edgar Cayce
http://www.are-cayce.com/about_edgarcayce/about_edgarcayce.asp
Your venue is too far out on a limb for my purposes. But thanks for
the thought.
Post by Michael Hearne
Note that the men in the above references did not use drugs of any kind,
but neither did they live in caves, or use stone tools.
Actually Jung used stone tools ... well, used tools to work stone. He
built a stone tower by hand.

He was at heart a crafty old craftsman ... of many sorts.
Post by Michael Hearne
Michael
--
RLU #352695
35.14N - 101.50W
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