Re: RES: [AAT] John Hawks' new videos

Mario Petrinovic <mario.petrinovic1@...>

If you are searching for patterns, human speech is the most similar to this (a primate that is living on cliffs):

        This same primate, in the same time, has the most dexterous hand (again, I say, because it climbs cliffs).

        It also lives in symbiosis with dogs.

On 30.3.2020. 19:41, fceska_gr wrote:
I believe language has to have some kind of grammar, or at least structure.
Which is why bees' dances and whale song is often considered to be language
rather than just communication, as they conform to structural patterns.
Probably true of elephants too. Chimps can also communicate and repeat
phrases etc. using sign language, but I'm not sure if they can produce a
grammatical structure on their own.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Nick Barnett via Groups.Io
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 8:23 PM
Subject: Re: RES: [AAT] John Hawks' new videos

Right, and it isn't speaking, and saying "I am in danger" or "I think I'm in
danger", it is just crying.

We (nearly) all acquire language; is there a categorical difference between
language and communication? And if so, is it the same categorical difference
as between Homo and non-homo ancestor. And if so, again, what triggered and
motivated it?

On 2020 Mar 30 , at 15:48, Felipe Carvalho wrote:

Great points Francesca,

I also adore Liedloff's work.

However, our babies still cry, in the sense that they are capable of
crying, and that very loudly for such a small creature (I don't know
many adults who could yell that loud).
Yes, in conditions of a perfect or optimal infancy, there probably
won't be much noise, even right after birth, but evolution doesn't
select that much for those optimal conditions, natural selection is
more strong around those where conditions aren't optimal, that are
somehow prepared to when conditions aren't optimal.
Other mammalian mothers also eventually drop, abandon, or mistreat
their babies, however, as far as I'm aware of, no other mammalian baby
(or non-mammalian) cries, much less this loudly. This must have been
selected for.
All those others were selected to being very silent, even in despair.
Even the loudest baby cat or baby dog (or baby tiger, lion, monkey,
hippo, horse, cow...) abandoned in the litter won't do nearly as much
noise as an human baby.

-----Mensagem original-----
De: <> Em nome de fceska_gr Enviada em:
segunda-feira, 30 de março de 2020 09:34
Assunto: Re: [AAT] John Hawks' new videos

We tend to believe that crying babies is the norm. But it's not.
Most babies will only cry if there is something wrong, ie: they're
hungry, need nappy changing, are tired and can't sleep, or in pain.
They will also sometimes cry just if they are put down. Being left
alone is not natural for a baby. In most indigenous societies, the
mother will carry the baby close to her body for the first few months,
even years, of life, sleep with the baby and feed the baby on demand.
If the mother needs her hands free, another person - grandmother,
sibling, aunt - may hold the baby. There are no cots or cradles, no
self-soothing moments. These babies rarely cry, and if they do, it's a
sign that there's something seriously wrong. A baby that cries when
put down to sleep on its own is simply alerting the nearest adult that
it is alone, a state of danger for a newborn in nature.

I reared my babies in a similar way, co-sleeping, breast-feeding on
demand, and rarely putting them down alone. They almost never cried.
I also gave birth to my daughter in water, and one of the first things
the midwife remarked was how she didn't cry at all when she was born
and seemed very relaxed.

A very good book about all this is The Continuum Concept by Jean

Keep well, stay safe.


-----Original Message-----
From: <> On Behalf Of Mario Petrinovic
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2020 2:35 AM
Subject: Re: [AAT] John Hawks' new videos

Regarding other conjecture for crying, I am not aware of it.
People connect crying to emotions. This works in my case, because the
fear of being lost at sea is very stressful. Also, you can imagine
that mother would hit their babies in sea if they are attacked by
predators on land. So, all those are stressful situations.

Besides, it is known that elephants are also capable of
But, it looks like elephants also came from sea.

I'll give you my view on the beginning of language.

First, yes, we were communicating before we had language.
Among different ways to communicate, we used body language, just like
any other animal. But, if your body is submerged up to neck in water,
you have to find the way to replace body language, and in that
situation there are not a lot of ways to do so.

Also, I noticed that we are using language for social
What grooming is for chimpanzees, chit chat is for humans.

But, this will be interesting for you, I figured out the very
beginning of language.

I have two sisters, two years younger, they are twins. 50
years ago my mother used to watch central new on TV. It was every day
at 8 PM.
So, we all had to be quiet when central news are emitting. But, before
the news there was a preparation. Those news started always at 8:00
PM, right to the second, and there was a clock on screen (with dials,
lol), which was accurate, so that the whole nation can adjust their
But this clock was going on for something like two minutes before the
news (probably to give adults enough time to adjust clocks, with dials
you can adjust them that way). So, what would we, kids, do, in
silence, while watching that clock, and waiting something to be
started? Well, we used to play a game. Hold your breath for a minute
(but no cheating), if you can. So, at 7:59:00 PM we closed our noses,
and started to hold our breaths. But, it started to be harder and
harder. By 7:59:45 PM we really struggled. While trying to hold our
breaths, you can clearly hear the sound "mmmmmmmmmmmm". I don't know
if this works for adults, because adults have different apparatus, but
you can try this with some kids.
When finally 8:00:00 PM came, we exhaled in relief, "aaaaaaaaaaa".

Now, imagine a kid is diving for shellfish. His mother awaits
for him at the surface. Kid has to go deep, the deepest he can. But he
has problems to hold his breath. Of course, you cannot hear his
"mmmmmmmm" underwater, but when when he emerges you can hear
And when mother hears that, she approaches the kid. After some time
kid figures out that mother is likely to approach him hearing that
sound, so, he calls his mother "maaaaa". Sometimes mother has other
things to do, and kids becomes inpatient, "maaa, maaa".

See, when you have *the right* scenario, things are putting
together all by themselves. I didn't know 80% of what I am writing
when I first compiled my scenario. But the things simply started to
stack all by themselves. It is not my fault, it is not that I have
great imagination, it is just that I manage to compile *the right*
scenario, and, of course, in *the right* scenario everything has

Take a look at that, a father is diving for shellfish, but he
is going too deep. But he can do that. How come? Because his wife is
awaiting for him at the half way point up, to give him a "kiss", to
give him additional air.

On 29.3.2020. 22:32, Nick Barnett via Groups.Io wrote:
On 2020 Mar 29 , at 06:29, Mario Petrinovic wrote:

. . . I like your post very much, excellent basis for a discussion
about this subject. I am not sure, exactly, what is your point, but
we can discuss this in detail, no problem. I will, definitely, learn
something in the process.
And I like your reply -- this is getting embarrassing -- my point is
that I question your identifying the emergence of language and the
emergence of homo; I think other species exhibit meaning-exchanging
behaviour, communication, if you like, which we can't translate, and
therefore, we don't accord it the name 'language', but that might be
wrong, and arrogant as well, in the way that we don't see animals as
as intelligent as humans.

And of course it would be tautologous to say that human language
emerged when homo did, but maybe that's somewhere to start.

One thing about human language that people have noted is that some
words are onomatopoeic -- they sound or feel like what they mean --
but most are not; we each have a way of identifying from a sound we
hear spoken by others, to a meaning, and we, by and large, share that
way with other people who use the same language, ie, we usually
understand what people are saying.

Look at this email -- it's just words, no facial expression or body
language, no speaking louder, softer, higher, lower, quicker, slower,
no mannerisms or rhetorical gestures to add to my meaning -- but
readers share (more or less) the meanings of the words. Well, since
we can only guess what animals are communicating to each other, we
can only guess how much they do that, share meaning of sounds or
other bits of communication.

I suppose you know you have language when you have neologism, ie, a
new word being coined for a new thing or concept (like Covid, say).

. . . Our babies cry, literally, from the day they are born, and
they don't stop. No other animal has anything similar . . . So, this
is our main advantage in gaining language. Other animals are capable
intellectually for language, other animals also can produce sounds,
but we are far above other animals in that respect.
Interesting; yes; as a species, we've gone from what we are used to
calling communication (crying), to what we are used to calling
language (speaking words and understanding them), and as individuals,
in our early months, we do the same.

How our babies came into situation that they *want* to
relieve [reveal] their position? . . . So, if our babies were left
in sea, while their mothers were diving for shellfish, it is
necessarily for our babies to relieve their position . . .

Are there other conjectures on why human babies cry? Are there other
conjectures on the transition to speaking?

. . . there are some environments where it is very difficult to hear
something . . . One such . . . is a rocky coast, where breaking
waves produce a lot of noise, all the time. In such a situation,
your hearing ability is compromised, and you have to break through
that noise, if you want to hear something. This is very challenging,
and this is the right environment to develop the capability to
analyze sounds.
I'm not so convinced by this idea; there are plenty of species that
inhabit noisy environments -- watery, windy, other members of their
own species! -- is human hearing known to be better than ape hearing?


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