Before electronic communications became a ubiquitous part of people’s lives, rural villagers created whistled versions of their native languages to speak from hillside to hillside or even house to house.
Herodotus mentioned whistled languages in the fourth book of his work The Histories, but until recently linguists had done little research on the sounds and meanings of this now endangered form of communication.
New investigations have discovered the presence of whistled speech all over the globe. About 70 populations worldwide communicate this way, a far greater number than the dozen or so groups that had been previously identified.
Linguists have tried to promote interest in these languages—and schools in the Canary Islands now teach its local variant. A whistled language represents both a cultural heritage and a way to study how the brain processes information.
continuarea articolului, la sursa: Scientific American
By Julien Meyer