After Forbes & Crowder 1979
<<< Examples of (a) Upper Paleolithic signs, and characters in three of the early written languages which resemble the Paleolithic marks: (b) Indus Valley signs, (c) Greek (western branch), (d) Runic

Whether you are looking for the oldest meanings of words, a new hobby to pass time while armchair travelling back thousands of years, a working sound-dictionary for creating new words based on archetypal meaning patterns, or for any purpose at all...welcome!

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A pattern of meanings exists in the world's languages,

a pattern that goes much farther back in time than was ever believed possible. A sociology professor at a major US university has said, "This is possibly the most important discovery of the century."

Describing this discovery is the focus of this website. All related topics are open for exploration, also, including but not limited to the origins of language, the Mother Tongue idea, evolution of man and evolution in general, ancient civilizations, sound-meaning correspondence research, linguistic research, dictionary-making, using spreadsheets and databases, in fact, anything that enhances the activity of this research.

K-vowel-N is the speech sound that this study was based on. After three years of collecting the complete definitions of words beginning with this sound, from 42 languages worldwide, it is evident that the pattern of meanings that emerged can only have come from firemaking rituals of very early date. In fact, /KVN/ (two slashes mean "sound of", V means Vowel) must have meant or connoted the firemaking ritual at a time when fire was made by rubbing a rod-shaped stick back and forth through a notched piece of wood, possibly half a million years ago.

The author collected 7,000 full dictionary definitions of words beginning with the sound of K-vowel-N; for example: canal, kindle, candle, canapy, chant, king, etc. The collecting phase of the work was not considered finished until no new Meaning Groups (see right) could be detected. About 130 distinct Meanings had at this point been found, almost all of which had more than a few examples from several languages. Finally, using a DOS-based spreadsheet program, she spent six weeks working dawn to dusk, to sort the Meanings into the array of Clusters and Sub-Clusters based on meaning similarities. It was during this final phase that some of the most startling findings were made.

It should be noted that these meaning groups were built from the evidence up, not from any generalization down. Dated notes confirm which speculations were considered, sifted, dropped and finally adopted, in achieving the last sorting of the Meaning Groups. Also, other morphemes were searched out, to make sure that this pattern of meanings was not attached to other morphemes. They weren't. Other morphemes had radically different patterns, and lacked the concepts that are found in /kvn/. This pattern of meanings, "The KVN Array", is unique to /kvn/.

It's like a huge jigsaw puzzle, and you will unfailingly come to see a pattern of meanings that exists in all languages on earth. It will paint a picture of the activity, the ancient experience, that that sound sprang from. More than a picture, it will be a re-creation of the whole experience in your mind's eye. Be ready for a lifelong hobby of unsurpassed excitement!

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Array: The pattern of meanings, displayed in organized form, derived by studying completely the occurrence of words beginning with one root sound

Meaning (group): In this form of study, a single concept, shared by many language groups, deriving from a common experience, and comprising a minumum of 3 separate dictionary entries from as many languages of words beginning with the same root sound, in this case, the sound of K+vowel+N (but in reality many more dictionary entries invariably comprise a Meaning)

Cluster: In this study, a Cluster is a "noble" and non-etymologically linked group of Meanings that derives from an individual attribute of the original experience that gave rise to the whole Array

Speech: Homo sapiens' verbal communication, using the invariably-ordered short sequences of mouth sounds that we call "words" in full grammatical context, capable of instantly relaying immediately decipherable commands to skillfully employ technological devices

Language: Verbal and other forms of communication that may have been used by the whole line of hominid ancestors, possibly extending to other species as well; functions as expression that modifies behavior, but not necessarily immediately, and not necessarily using technological objects or skills

Phoneme: a small unit of speech; one distinct speech sound

Morpheme: the smallest unit of speech that carries meaning

Ramapithecus: Ancestors of Australopithecus; transitional hominid developing during the drying of the earth's great jungles, dating from roughly 14 million years ago

Australopithecus: Tool-making ancestors of man, dating from about 3 million years ago

Homo habilis: Transitional between Australopithecus and Homo erectus; from Olduvai Bed 1

Homo erectus: Larger than Australopithecus, directly ancestral to Modern Man; dating from about 1 million years ago; developed firemaking half a million years ago, at which time he also acquired heightened tongue capability ours (evidenced by the size of the hole that the nerve to the tongue makes in the skull)

Homo sapiens: Modern man, emerging inexplicably all of a sudden the world over starting roughly 100,000 years ago; identical to us, with same language capability, vocal column, chin, and brain size and organization

Neanderthalers: diverged from and co-existed with Modern Man; became more and more "Neanderthal-like" as time went on; had extremely dense bones, heavy eyebrow ridge, large perfectly circular eye sockets, enlarged visual part of the brain, and no "chin"; doubtful that he had identical language capability to ours; very uniform type lived near polar ice caps; varied types lived farther south; died out roughly 30,000 years ago

Evolution: the slow change in living forms over time, due to changing environmental conditions

Environmental niche: a given set of circumstances in the environment that a life-form uses to make a living in; e.g., sandy desert, under bushes, at night, with oil-bearing seeds plentiful; given the same identical environmental niche, species tend to evolve similarly

Convergent evolution: when two or more species evolve into similar-functioning and appearing forms, due to occupying the same environmental niche

Divergent evolution: when a species begins to evolve into several different forms as it spreads out into new environmental niches

Parallel evolution: when similar species continue to exist side by side without much change, neither one exterminating the other

Mother Tongue: the one language shared by Homo sapiens, ancestral to all modern languages; thought to have formed roughly 100,000 years ago (i.e., concurrently with the emergence of Homo sapiens)

Sound-Meaning Correspondence: the idea that the referent of a word stays attached to the unique sounds of that word over considerable time; currently believed not to last longer than 20,000 years, based on statistical studies