Language, 3 Races, 3 Brains
There are some interesting correspondences between the general characteristics of sub-Saharan African
languages and the Sino-Tibetan languages as compared with the Indo-European languages. The language
differences between East and West also correspond to the emergence of the three primary races that
occurred with the migrations out of Africa. There are mixes between them of course but this triadic feature
stands out in a way that reflects the global cultural development of the three interdependent yet related focal
points of human brain function.
The evidence indicates that humans originated in sub-Saharan Africa and made repeated migrations out of
Africa to populate Asian and Europe. Migrations of modern humans to Asia date back some fifty to sixty
thousand years and to Europe they date back about thirty to forty thousand years.
The indigenous sub-Saharan African languages are universally tonal. They generally have tenses to verbs
as well as noun classes or classifiers and words are marked by gender, number, person and mood. In the
migration eastward out of Africa the tonal characteristics became elaborated upon while tenses and word
suffix or prefix modifiers were generally dropped. The Sino-Tibetan languages generally do not mark or
explicitly indicate in the word the associated gender, number, person, tense or mood, whereas the Indo-
European languages generally do. The Sino-Tibetan languages must specify time as in the past, present or
future or at a specific time. Number is generally indicated by modifying a universal noun classification such
“person” so that there are no singular or plural nouns. Instead of saying “three girls,” one says “girl three
people,” or “flower three plants,” instead of “three flowers.” In this context the words “people” and “plants”
are universal classifications of which there are many in the Sino-Tibetan languages.
Language and the Bilateral Polarization of Brain Function:
Language allows us to deal with phenomenal experience in abstraction. Words, signs and symbols
designate elements of sensory experience, feelings and actions that can be dealt with and organized in
thought then expressed in speech, writing and behavior. This allows us to rationalize and tailor our thought,
feelings and behavior according to some anticipated result. We can simulate events and respond according
to a plan or agenda of some kind. The plan may be tentative and filled with contingencies that require
modifications but there is nevertheless a hoped for result whether it is ever fully achieved or not. We draw
on the input of experience from the past in an effort to establish a desired future. In this way we continually
strive to span space and time to integrate our phenomenal experience in some coherent way that we
intuitively perceive as a worldview. We strive to integrate history accordingly. We want to be whole.
The development of language has polarized brain function in humans. All creatures communicate to some
extent that becomes progressively more significant in the higher mammals. Although there is evidence of
limited bi-lateral polarization of brain function in the higher mammals and some birds, this characteristic of
brain function becomes highly distinct in humans. In right handed people only the left hemisphere of the
brain is proficient at expression in language or techniques of behavior that are dependent on language. In
the ten percent or so of left handed people the situation is generally reversed. Since we are born the most
helpless of creatures we must learn everything with the aid of language. As babies we acquire an intuitive
capacity to comprehend language before we begin to speak.
The sphere of rational thought in language deals primarily with the outside world that we must learn to
function in. This creates the contextual dilemma of intuitively grasping how things work as a whole. We
depend upon the context of a home and a family situation as babies to make sense of things. But we must
also cope with the natural environment and learn about the characteristics of the natural world. As horizons
expand with our development we are faced with a more pressing intuitive quest. We become acutely aware
of the transient nature of all events in life, including life itself. We must find some way to understand the
whole of creation, even if we believe it is all an accident of blind chance. We must find some way to
intuitively understand the overriding context in which we are born and die.
Left Brain Technique versus Right Brain Intuition:
Spiritual world views attuned to intuitive insight that are rooted in antiquity are now being challenged by
scientific world views that are gaining favor. Although neither side can formulate conclusive answers in
language spiritual world views generally depend on the intuitive right brain. The objective empirical evidence
for a spiritual reality is elusive and vague. Spiritual concerns are subjective and private. Animating energies
are intuitively perceived but they defy accurate expression in explicit language. By contrast scientific world
views employ language in the objective public domain. They seek out relationships of cause and effect that
link up the empirical evidence in the external world of our common experience. This approach is highly
successful in making things such as airplanes and computers but science tries to extend its success to
explain the whole universe including life itself as a causal accident without plan or purpose.
This bilateral polarization of intuitive right-brain versus rational left-brain thought has been played out by
human cultural development in the global theatre. The Western Indo-European languages are structured to
explicitly link things up in a flow through space and time. The Western linear approach has facilitated the
development of western science and technology based as it is on causality since the time of Aristotle. The
renaissance as it related to science was fueled with the rediscovery of his works from Arabic sources. With
Thomas Aquinas the philosophical underpinnings of Catholicism were also shored up in Aristotelian terms.
Thus even western religion sought an objective basis of causal understanding in the West.
The Eastern (Sino-Tibetan) languages are more intuitive and they focus more on the holistic spiritual
inclinations of the human heart. They lack formal grammar. There is a general lack of tenses to verbs, word
prefixes, suffixes, noun articles and some of the conjunctions that link specific things up in a flow through
space and time in the Western languages. The universal noun classifications also facilitate the integration
of meaning in a more holistic way than in the West.
In the East the emphasis is much more subjective. Spiritual beliefs tend to dominate daily life. There is a
general belief in real spirits that can be accessed intuitively and through spirit possession. Local shamans
and spirit mediums commonly entertain possession and later retain no memory of the possessed state.
There are spirit doctors in every village, town and city neighborhood that are believed to have been born
with a special aptitude to communicate with the spirits in some way. This spirit culture aspect of East Asian
cultures is similar to the belief systems of the Native Americans. Buddhism and Taoism are a thin veneer
over these aboriginal traditions that date back tens of thousands of years and still prevail.
The point is that in the migrations out of Africa the movement Eastward focused on the tonal and universal
classifications of African languages making them more attuned to right brain holistic thinking and subjective
intuitive perceptions of the human spirit. The movement Westward focused on the linear development of
thought as a flow through space and time that made them applicable to the development of western
technology based as it is on external cause and effect. This became implicitly associated with the
emergence of three primary races.
The African Languages:
The indigenous sub-Saharan African languages have structural characteristics of both Eastern and Western
languages. Some of the better known Nilo-Saharan languages are Kanuri, Songhay, Nubian, and the
widespread Nilotic family which includes Luo, Dinka and Maasai. The Niger-Congo language family is the
largest group probably in the world in terms of the number of languages. They have an elaborate noun class
system but with grammatical concord as in English where the specific personal pronoun changes the verb,
for example in “I go” as compared to “he goes.” A major branch of Niger-Congo languages is the Bantu
family, which covers a greater geographic area than the rest of the family put together. A striking and
unusual feature of Khoisan languages of Namibia and Botswana is their use of click consonants. All of these
African languages are tonal with elements of the Western languages also.
The tonal characteristics are not always as elaborate as in East Asian languages, many consisting of two or
three tones, but they do alter meaning and are not merely inflections of speech as in English. There is a
diversity of tense compilations among them also that may be more varied than the Indo-European languages
but this is also a common feature that distinguishes them from the East Asian languages. Many African
languages also have universal noun classifications as in the East Asian Languages that is generally absent
in the Indo-European languages.
Migration out of Africa and Three Primary Races:
The point is that in the migrations out of Africa the movement Eastward focused on the tonal and intuitively
holistic aspects of African languages making them more attuned to right brain holistic thinking and intuition.
The movement Westward focused on the linear development of thought as a flow through space and time
that made them applicable to the development of western technology based as it is on cause and effect in
space and time. The Eastern languages are more intuitive and focused more on the holistic spiritual
inclinations of the human spirit. This became implicitly associated with the emergence of three primary races.
People globally have a right brain that is intuitive and that seeks to integrate meaning holistically but
Western frameworks of understanding tend to do this historically, going back to an original creative event in
the Garden of Eden or the Big Bang, even though these two accounts are mutually incompatible. We seek a
logical explanation in linear language. Not so in the East. Their frameworks of understanding are in the
present moment and in this sense they are timeless. They are more attuned to the spirit of intention in which
things are done. The law of kamma may be considered causal in a way but it is not linear. The
consequences of kamma may return to inflict the transgressor at any unprescribed time in the future, in a
week, in a month, in twenty years or in the next lifetime. It is timelessly cyclic, not linear in space-time. It is
intuitively perceived, not logically rationalized.
Three Brains and Three Races:
There is conclusive biological evidence that the right hemisphere of the neo-cortex is intuitive and holistic in
the way it functions. It can understand language conceptually but it cannot formulate language in speech. It
excels at spatio-temporal integration, aesthetic patterns, artistic themes, the spiritual sense, that sort of
thing. By comparison the left brain is dominated by language expression, logic and reason. All Western
sciences are left brain oriented, even the practice of mathematics. All techniques of explicit performance are
organized and regulated through the vehicle of left brain language, going back to the cot. We are born
utterly helpless and learn with the development of our language skills, even learning to walk. “Come to
Mamma.” The baby intuitively grasps this before it can talk, but gets the conceptual meaning associated with
the words. This happens in the East as well of course, but these Eastern left brain languages are more
attuned to right brain holistic subjective interpretation of objective circumstance. They are less applicable to
objective science and more applicable to subjective spirit.
Both hemispheres of the neo-cortex are harnessed to the ancient limbic cortex of the brain. Only the Limbic
cortex has major direct hard wired connections to our autonomic nervous system which constitutes our
emotional apparatus. This functionally integrated Limbic System has a certain capacity to think emotionally.
There are two significant levels within Limbic cortex of the brain. The hippocampal gyrus is associated with
the brain development of the amphibians and reptiles going back 400 million years. It is absolutely primary
to memory and recall. The cingulate gyrus of the Limbic cortex is associated with the brain development of
the lower mammals which has roots early in the reptilian period, but only blossomed with the diversification
of the mammals after the demise of the dinosaurs. This structural arrangement means that primary
emotional patterns of behavior recalled in memory from the Hippocampal gyrus can find reflection in the
larger more refined Cingulate gyrus within the structurally integrated Limbic System. In other words we have
a certain capacity to think and reflect in emotional feeling that has aspects of both neo-cortical hemispheres
of the brain. This is consistent with the development of the African languages, the most ancient languages
in the world. Also polyrhythmic music developed only in Africa. The human heart received its primary
learning in Africa. Right brain intuition received its primary learning in the East. Left brain logic, reason and
science came later, as it does with a developing child, and received its learning in the West.
The global development of human civilization repeats this general pattern over and over again, within each
of the three races and how they relate to one another and to the planet throughout history.
|Language, 3 Races, 3 Brains
How three language characteristics emerged with three
races consistent with three focal points of brain function
Robert Campbell 2009