[b-hebrew] Why Semitic languages had no written vowels?

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Wed May 4 19:18:11 EDT 2005


On 04/05/2005 19:49, Vadim Cherny wrote:

> ...
>
>>>I'm not a specialist in the field, but I recall publication some years ago
>>>      
>>>
>>>of unearthing in Jericho the remains of the oldest human with some specific
>>>      
>>>
>>>anatomical feature, necessary for speech. Articulate speech did not start long ago.
>>>      
>>>
>>I would be interested in more details of this one.
>>    
>>
>
>http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/N/neanderthal/facts/map_israel.html
>
>  
>
>>But most scholars seem to hold that humans have been anatomically modern and so capable of
>>    
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>>speech for more than 100,000 years.
>>    
>>
>
>Capable - does not mean they actually spoke. Aborigenes are capable of
>developing nuclear bomb, but they did not.
>
>  
>
Thank you for this page. Well, I thought you were referring to the 
world's oldest agricultural settlements in Jericho, about 12,000 years 
ago. But it seems rather that you are referring to Neanderthals - and 
your data is confirmed in a book I have. Well, if Neanderthals and 
modern humans share this anatomical capacity for speech, that implies 
that it goes back to their common ancestor, perhaps 400,000 years ago. 
In fact I read that the brain structure (from the cast of the inside of 
the skull) of Homo erectus seems to show speech areas, and possibly also 
that of Homo habilis so going back perhaps 2 million years. That 
suggests that the capability of speech dates back as long as that. Of 
course that does not prove that they actually spoke, but it does suggest 
that they may well have done. Well, if the Neanderthal inhabitants of 
Israel could speak, that does not imply that they spoke Hebrew, or even 
proto-Hebrew.

As for the rest of your arguments, I think this is the time to drop 
them. You are not going to convince me or anyone else on this list, at 
least unless you present your arguments in a much more scholarly 
fashion. And it seems that whatever I say I will not convince you. So 
let's drop the subject.

-- 
Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)
http://www.qaya.org/



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