Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/331

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THE STUDY OF MAN.

the tongues of the Australians which I have examined than in the tongues of ordinary Europeans.

There is a wide field open to the anatomical anthropologist in this investigation of the physical basis of dialect. It is one which requires minute and careful work, but it will repay any student who can obtain the material, and who takes time and opportunity to follow it out. The anatomical side of phonology is yet an imperfectly known subject, if one may judge by the crudeness of the descriptions of the mechanism of the several sounds to be found even in the most recent text-books. As a preliminary step in this direction we are in urgent need of an appropriate nomenclature and an accurate description of the muscular fibers of the tongue. The importance of such a work can be estimated when we remember that there is not one of the 260 possible consonantal sounds known to the phonologist which is not capable of expression in terms of lingual, labial, and palatine musculature.

The acquisition of articulate speech became possible to man only when his alveolar arch and palatine area became shortened and widened, and when his tongue, by its accommodation to the modified mouth, became shorter and more horizontally flattened, and the higher refinements of pronunciation depend for their production upon more extensive modifications in the same directions.

I can only allude now very briefly to the effects of the third set of factors, the sizes of the sense organs, on the conformation of the skull. We have already noted that the shape and the size of the orbital opening depend on the jaw as much as on the eye. A careful set of measurements has convinced me that the relative or absolute capacity of the orbital cavity is of very little significance as a characteristic of race. The microseme Australian orbit and the megaseme Kanaka are practically of the same capacity, and the eyeballs of the two Australians that I have had the opportunity of examining are a little larger than those of the average of mesoseme Englishmen.

The nasal fossæ are more variable in size than the orbits, but the superficial area of their lining and their capacity are harder to measure, and bear no constant proportion to the size of their apertures, because it is impossible without destroying the skull to shut off the large air sinuses from the nasal fossæ proper for purposes of measurement. Thus the most leptorhine of races, the Eskimo, with an average nasal index of 437, has a nasal capacity of 55 c. c., equal to that of the platyrhine Australian, whose average is 54·5, and both exceed the capacity of the leptorhine English, which average about 50 c. c. There is an intimate and easily proved connection between dental size and the extent of the nasal floor and of the pyriform aperture.

These are but a few of the points which a scientific craniometry