VO WA KO : Missing 411 : #Bigfoot language!


Thinking is tantamount to how we define ourselves as human beings, the mental process that makes us “sentient” and separates us from “lesser” species.  Language as the means by which we communicate our thoughts is inseparable from thinking; when we form thoughts we do so in a certain language.  We cannot conceive of an object such as a tree without forming the word “tree” in our minds, and thus the thought and the word become one.  The unitary principle of Thought/Language is inherent in our subject/object relationships.

The degree of influence on Western thought patterns as a result of the invention of a phonetic alphabet is open to speculation.  Cultures that lack a phonetic alphabet are assumed by many to have retained a more holistic understanding of their environment.  What is clear is that Western human thought patterns have become linear, and these patterns have a close correlation to the development and expression of our languages.

All this may be delving a bit too deeply into Psycholinguistics for our purpose, but since the creatures in our study are using language, these speculations may serve to alert us to the homo-centric tendency to classify Bigfoot into one group or another.  Is Bigfoot an animal, or is he Human?  Is he or is he not sentient?  Does he think in linear patterns or more holistically?  Here we must not forget the tertium quid that Bigfoot may be very different from any creature ever classified.  We cannot assume that he has not developed a graphic system for expressing language, simply because we have not discovered it.  In fact, there is much evidence that he uses the forest itself, by means of broken and twisted limbs, to build elaborate communicative formations which humans often mistake for storm damage or dismiss as territorial markers.  These formations could be a much more complex form of communication than we imagine.  Likewise, we cannot assume that Bigfoot has not developed technology, just because he has not electrified and digitized his world.  Again, the forest itself may be his machine, engineered to facilitate his existence.   We cannot assume that he is incapable of creating fire; he may simply choose not to.  In the end, we must be careful not to assign the language of Bigfoot or his thought patterns to any one humanly contrived pigeonhole, while at the same time analyzing his language by the human definition of it.

Intimidation, as a function of human language, is heard throughout the recordings, specifically on the Berry Tape in what has previously been dubbed “samurai chatter” and which I have come to refer to as “Hostility Assertion”.  These are vocalized by a drawn out stream of morphemes, often repeated, which are articulated at high volume in a highly hostile tone (BI-5:32.42 – BI-6:35.60).  Several of these Hostility Assertions are articulated as forceful ululations in which the streamed morphemes may not have specific meaning in the sense of being semantically discrete.  These ululations have an extremely intimidating effect on the listener and may be utilized solely for this purpose

Persuasion and Instruction:  If we accept the argument that the creatures are at times speaking in cognatic words and phrases, then persuasive and instructive utterances are found throughout the recordings and can be referenced in the line-by-line analysis of the transcripts.  Other than these cognatic phrases, since we are dealing with an unknown language, persuasive and instructive utterances must be inferred from the recognizable inflective modulation of the voice in such utterances.  These are also found throughout the recordings.

Emotional Expression:  If we presume that Sasquatch possesses similar emotional sensibilities as humans and would express them in a similar fashion, then indeed we find emotional utterances throughout the Berry/Morehead recordings.  We can infer much of this from modulations in pitch, tone and degree of agitation in the voice, and from the meaning of presumed cognatic expressions.  Since emotion is so often swayed by external environmental stimuli, it is easy to understand why the range of emotions expressed by the creatures during this confrontation between species, would be quite narrow: apprehension, aggravation, and hostility are most common.  However, there are many instances where curiosity, wonder and (…).  This last instance is also evidentiary to the Entertainment Function of human language.

Ritual, defined as a practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner, is another important function of language.  There is a great body of evidence, documented by witnesses as well as researchers, of the practice of signal drumming by means of wood knocking or rock bashing.  These would certainly constitute a ritualistic form of communication.  We can assume that the creatures are not drumming out a coded alphabet such as Morse Code, since the signals are broadcast in set patterns of short duration.  However, something is being communicated through this behavior.
Vocally, there are numerous ‘whistles’ and ‘whoops’ expressed on the tapes.  I do not presume these have semantic meaning but are ritualistic in nature and could serve any purpose from a mating call to an assertion of dominance over his clan.  There is one morpheme stream (or possible word) on the Morehead tape that is of particular interest here.  I believe it to have semantic meaning as well as being a ritualistic expression.  I infer this on the basis of several factors: it is repeated numerous times by the presumed female creature with an almost song-like quality to her voice; it is given in response by the presumed male in a manner suggestive of ritual; it is used in several morphological variations in combination with other morphemes.  Variations of the word include: “VÖ WÄ KÖ,” VÖ WÄ” and “WÄ KÖ” (M-12:48.56 – M-12:13.62 and again at M-20:48.77 – M-22:40.79).

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