Semiotic Rubicon in glottogenesis. Part 1 [In Russian with English summary]
Alexander Barulin (Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow),
Journal of Language Relationship, № 8, 2012 - p.33-74
The paper lays out some of the basic principles in the analysis of glottogenesis. Based on accumulated evidence, it provides a comparison of the major characteristics of the vocal tracts and communicative sound systems of Homo sapiens and the common chimpanzee, summarizing the necessary mutations for the formation of the human sound-producing apparatus. It is concluded that the nature of the sonic signal is dependent on other behavior programs. One of the ensuing hypotheses is that the new sound communication system of late period Australopithecines and Homo habilis, when employed in savannah conditions, must have had an opposition between short-range and long-range signals; the short-range system, in particular, must have included signals for demonstrating collective aggression towards large predators. Another hypothesis is that the long-range system must have employed whistling techniques — signals that were generated by the skeletal muscles and stimulated new breathing mechanisms, including sound production during long exhalation. This, in turn, opened up unlimited possibilities for sound imitation, intonation combining, the emergence of an open sound communication system, etc.
Keywords: glottogenesis, chimpanzee, Australopithecus, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, vocal tract, sound communication systems, language evolution, whistle signals, demonstration of aggression, whistled languages