Whistle Language: Reprecussions

In the book Karen, the author/mother tells of whistling to her premature infant because her singing was so bad. When the infant whistled back, everyone said it wasn’t happening. Until they saw it. Because of that story I’ve always been interested in language/whistling connections.

Here’s an article on a language that is whistled. They compared Spanish speakers and Spanish and Silbo Gomero speakers when they listened to sentences in both. Both groups had bilateral activation of the brain for Spanish. But only native speakers had the same bilateral activation for Silbo Gomero.

Ah Hah! The answer to an age old question on why those who were raised by wolves could or could not learn English.

At some point several toddlers were lost in the woods. Not all the same place or time. These were all apparently taken in by wolves and raised like cubs. Those who were found before they were around 6 were able to learn English and adapt. Those who were found when they were older, were never able to re-enter society. I have always thought it was because their brains were no longer able to process the human language as language because it didn’t match wolf language.

Here’s some tantalizing hint that such a theory might be true.

via Mirabilis

Update: Note on Silbo being required at school to save it