The Beginnings of Human Speech


    AN interesting attempt by Dr. C. Tauber to trace human speech back to its first beginnings appears in Globus for May 12 (Bd. xcvii.). For this purpose the writer classifies the simplest conceptions and the sounds representing them into six divisions, as follows:-(i.) m + vowel, meaning liquid food (e.g. milk, melt, Germ. Ge-müse, &c.); (ii.) p (b or v) + vowel, solid food (e.g. bread, Germ, putter, Lat. panis, &c); (iii.) n + vowel, sometimes sn, fluidity (e.g. Lat. navis, Germ, nass, snow, &c.); (iv.) dental + vowel, sometimes st, wood or forest (e.g. timber, Germ. Stuhl, throne, Germ. Tanne, &c.); (v.) liquid + vowel, feeding or drinking place (e.g. Gk. libadion, lake, Germ. Loch, &c.); (vi.) guttural + vowel, animal world (cow, Lat. caper, Germ. Hund, &c.).

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    The Beginnings of Human Speech . Nature 83, 508 (1910).

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