July 4th, 2019
Whistled Language [from Wikipedia]
Whistled language is rare compared to spoken language, but it is found in cultures around the world. It is especially common in tone languages where the whistled tones transmit the tones of the syllables (tone melodies of the words). This might be because in tone languages the tone melody carries more of the functional load of communication while non-tonal phonology carries proportionally less. The genesis of a whistled language has never been recorded in either case and has not yet received much productive study.
Introduction to the Mazateco whistle language in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico
For me, it represents an understanding of the relationship with nature, the understanding of the mutual coexistence among us.
The education system puts us in a dynamic that displaces our language. Especially where our children only speak Mazateco, they get Hispanicized.
I feel that with the strength, with the thinking our elders had, we’re getting a push to be born again. They say, "Don’t let our language be lost, don’t let our knowledge get lost."
Mazateco whistle talk with Dr. George Cowan
It is absolutely fascinating to listen Dr. Cowan go back and forth between English, the Mazateco spoken language, and the Mazateco whistle language at around 4:04.
The tune tells you as much about what was said as the sounds do in Mazateco.
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