The miracle and mystery of human speech.

I don’t know whether this is his idea or he has picked it up from someone else, but his Honoring the Consonant by David Solway discusses that human language and speech could only have come into existence through the use of consonants, whereas animal sounds are almost universally made up from formless vowels. Human language requires consonants to break up the vowel sounds so that we can hear the individual thoughts we are each expressing.

I sometimes think that the consonant is a compensatory gift from the Divine Lexicographer, since we have not been blessed with Solomon’s endowment. More realistically, the consonant is an evolutionary structure distinguishing man from beast. One might postulate that notational languages—music, mathematics, equationese—are consonantal derivatives. The consonant is a unique formation whose mysterious power and effect enable us to transcend mere intuitive apperception and form coherent systems of reproducible meaning. In its absence, I could not even think what I am writing now, however whimsically.

We are surrounded by mysteries that have made our existence possible. This is just one more but it is both a mystery and a miracle.

1 thought on “The miracle and mystery of human speech.

  1. Pingback: The miracle and mystery of human speech. - The Rabbit Hole

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