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Selected Books by Edmund Blair Bolles

  • Galileo's Commandment: 2500 Years of Great Science Writing
  • The Ice Finders: How a Poet, a Professor, and a Politician Discovered the Ice Age
  • Einstein Defiant: Genius vs Genius in the Quantum Revolution

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I remember reading in a book (sorry, don't remember which one) that emotional content vocalizations are pretty much universal across mammals. It stated that the vocalizer's emotional state was reflected in the vocalization.

A high-pitched, rhythmic, non staccato vocalization meant that the animal was non-threatening, peaceful, cooperative, empathetic, etc. Think of a dog that whines when it sees its owner or makes a high pitched noise when playing. Or a mother cooing to her infant.

Conversely, a low-pitched, staccato vocalization meant that the animal was threatening and trying to establish dominance. Again, think of a dog with a low, menacing growl/bark. Or a dad getting angry with his kid and using a deeper voice.

We can implicitly use this knowledge when interacting with animals to determine their emotional state or threat level, even without being familar of the animal's normal behaviors.

In the motherese section, you claim that the universality of high-pitched, rhythmic vocalization is irrelevant. This idea states exactly the opposite: the high-pitched, rhytmic vocalization is exactly what conveys the mom's caring, empathic, and emotional connection to her infant. The words, grammer, and syntax are irrelevant as the focus is the emotional bond and the sharing of emotional state information.

That was a pretty bad way of explaining that, but I hope the point is clear. Thanks!

Paolo Paparcura

I am only a mechanic but i can see how vocalizations led not to speech but to song,
My assuntion start from the fact the sounds
borned before any
languages well make a noice it is normal talk with sense no so much.

The Navajo, never had a written laguage as
far i have understood
from the litles i have read in the last few
weeks about, but they
still use their original language to talk and transmit
information and legends.

Because i am not an historion but just a man
all i can tell is
what my feeling is and i would like have if it
is possible an answer.

Why is it, that every time i heard say Native American music
my feeling is of a man
that is there lissen some one telling him a lots
of things, nice
things, but i do not understand what they say,
but i can see they are good
and interesting things about life animal nature
and how to live togheter
with other men and with the nature.

It look to me that Navajo music is more of that,
it looks to me that
the music was and probally is today Navajo way to
write and transfer
information to the next generation like we did
for years writing our books.

For example one the most importan of their
instrument is made like this:


But if if i think about the way Navajo talk using
for example the A
with all its tones, They can tell a story with the
music only using A and all
its tones, where is the answer if there is one.

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