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3. The onoma-semaiophonic webwork method: Sinn-Klang, Sing-Lang, Song-line

Zwar ist's mit der Gedankenfabrik
Wie mit einem Weber-Meisterstück,
Wo ein Tritt tausend Fäden regt,
Die Schifflein herüber hinüber schießen,
Die Fäden ungesehen fließen,
Ein Schlag tausend Verbindungen schlägt...
Goethe , Faust 1922-1927

The academic majority thinks of the oldest and (for us) unrecognizable mythologies stemming from the most archaic times, that such material is just "fumbling myth and fable". The following statement contains a number of biases of male-oriented writing civilization, what is called phallogocentrism in the present context:

Loren Eiseley [48]: Man [49] without writing [50] cannot long retain his history [51] in his head [52]. His intelligence permits him to grasp some kind of succession of generations; but without writing, the tale of the past rapidly degenerates into fumbling myth and fable [53]. Man’s greatest epic, his four long battles with the advancing ice of the great continental glaciers, has vanished from human memory without a trace [54] . Our illiterate [55] fathers disappeared and with them, in a few scant generations, died one of the great stories of all time [56].

3.0.1. Backgrounds of the onoma-semaiophonic method: the archaic Aoide tradition

Hertha v. Dechend (1993), and Joseph Campbell (1972-1996) have worked to revive this old material and show its relevance for our times. The important issue is that writing technology as we know it may not be the only, and not even the best way to ensure the propagation of cultural memory over very long times and that perhaps there is some treasure to be recovered from those old mythologies that we may direly need for our civilizations. For this, I will now introduce a novel working method. To describe {word / concept / term} connections from the ancient languages, I am drawing up webs [57] of meaning-and-sound structures [58]. I call this the onoma-semaiophonic method. Another shorter Greek term would be sym-plex [59], or in German, one would call this the Sinn-Klang, in English, Sing-Lang, and in Australian Aboriginal: Song-line. As the term indicates, this is a way of forming {nexus [60] / plexis} of word (onoma) meaning values (semaio-) applying the sound values (phonae-) of the words. This technique is derived from a hint in Platon's Kratylos [61], and was first presented at "Semiotics of the Media", Kassel (1995), under the title: "Onoma homoion to pragmati: The Kratylos Hypothesis and the Semephonic Aoide Thought Structures". The theory assumes that in archaic languages, there are hidden homoio-phonic / homoio-saemic (similar sound <-> similar meaning) webworks that can be uncovered by tracing their connection in the oldest remnant texts, which are the ancient epics and mythologies. It is an as yet experimental and hypothetical method, that does not try to conform to conventional linguistic, etymological, and other academic scholarly consensus. It is directly counterpositioned against Saussure's tenet of the "signe arbitraire" (and derived from this, the conventional linguistics). Apart from Platon and Whitehead , this theory is based on the works of Hertha v. Dechend , Martin Bernal , Marius Schneider , and Theodor Strehlow .

3.0.2. The societal role of the pre-historic aoidoi

The present hypothesis assumes that the ancient (pre-writing) languages and cultures were much more inter-connected among each other than conventional school wisdom assumes, and that especially the languages (and mind sets) of the aoidoi, the bards and singers of the non-writing societies of the olden times, were an interconnected rhizome-like webwork (see the post-modern theories of Lacan, Derrida, etc.), like a pre-historic world-wide-web of {story- / epics- / songs-} telling and singing, spanning the whole planet. The theories of in the wake of Parry and Lord, like Havelock, Latacz, Visser, A. & J. Assmann, and B. Powell are taken into consideration, but it is assumed that the examples which Parry and Lord studied, the Balkan guslars, were a very degenerate last remainder of a tradition, that had a much higher importance and higher perfection in those times before writing arose, and before the writing based power structures made their services unnecessary and relegated them to a minor entertainment role at the courts of the nobles. In the present view of the pre-writing cultures, the aoidoi had a considerable influence on the forming of ancient languages, and they were, as a class, working for thousands of years, not only daemiourgon onomaton, but the builders of languages and thought systems. Of course, there is no direct way to prove the hypothesis, because this is supposed to have taken place in the millennia before writing was invented. But there are analogous examples from other cultural traditions on this planet still to be found.

3.0.3. The Australian songline tradition, and African Griots

One last remnant of this (hypothetical) tradition survived until the middle of this century in Australia as the "songline tradition" (Chatwin , Strehlow ). Another example are the oral and musical traditions of Africa, the griots. (Ba 1986, 1993).

3.0.4. Constructivist and neurological research

The recent constructivist and neurological research lets a simplistic assumption of the "signe arbitraire" doctrine appear ever more unlikely, since languages must be represented by cognitive maps in neuronal network configuations [62] that need in turn be innervated to extremely fine-tuned sensory and motoric systems to enable humans to hear and understand the sounds of the languages, and vice versa, produce them also. For these neuronal, sensoric, and motoric requirements, language structures are everything else than "signe arbitraire", even though they do indeed show great variation. The works of linguistics in the school of Noam Chomsky, and the recent neurological and constructivist work, like Calvin, von Foerster, Maturana, Riegas, Schmidt, Singer, Spitzer, is used as base for the present hypothesis. The present work seeks to re-construct the cognitive maps of such archaic thought systems as they may have existed in the aoide languages of ancient Eurasia, of which the ancient Greek branch was neither unique, nor disconnected, as conventional philology may still believe. I have linked this method to the Pro-methaes, but we can also call it para-men-ithys: "straight beyond the (western alphabetic) mind", and is aimed to give an alternative approach to the themes of Western thinking that were introduced 2500 years ago by Par-men-ides.

3.0.5. The onoma-semaiophonic plexis

onoma = name, designation, word, expression
onos = ass, donkey, a mechanical device for winding ropes, pulley, spinning whorl /spindle [63], upper rotating millstone [64], wine container (Rost II, 163)

saema- has many related meanings: sign, signal, ensign, insignia, seal, flag, mark, omen, augury, portent, indication, symptom, landmark, signpost, boundary mark, ...
Related Greek terms are: saemeion / saemaleos / saemansis / saemaia / saemasia / saemaino.

Other terms that may form an onoma-semaiophonic plexus are:
semelos = kochlias (Rost II,410) -> (Rost I,591) snail with spiralling shell, everything with spiralled form (ram's horns).

semele = moon goddess -> connection of horns and moon,
-> woman of Laussel (Dordogne) holding a (bison?) horn, with 13 marks, Marshack (1972: 334-336), the symbol and the markings indicate a moon calendar.

semn- / -o / -a / -oma = dignity , worship, adoration, reverence
semnaion = sanctuary, temple, especially temple of Erinnyes / Furies [65]
semno- = god-like

phainoo: means to bring to light / to sound / to announce / to make appear. (Rost 1862,II: 595, 596). ho phainon is an alias name for the {planet / god / alchymical element} Saturn. Graves mentions in (1988: 86-88): hae-phaistos [66], ?haemeraphaestos? (he who shines by day): He is the Greek god of metal work and smiths. This is connected to phainomenon [67], appearance, phainomenos: apparent, clear, comprehensible, intelligible, and phaneron [68] (597): apparent , evident.

The evidence [69] is thus divided into sight and sound: phone and phos that are related through the phainomenon.

phonae is connected to everything making sounds, the realm of voice, speaking, talking.

The saemeiophonic field of phos , photo- , phoos and phaos is reigned by the {Phoibos / Phoibae} the god{dess} of light: the male form is also called Apollon . phosphoros : luck, fortune, rescue.

The connection between phainon, Saturn, and time is given by H.v.Dechend (1993: 122, 203-4, 218, 242, 244-248) who equates Saturn with Chronos and Kronos, the god of time, and in (247-248) Saturn is again equated with Hephaistos.

Dechend (1993: 134): "Es ist das goldene Zeitalter, in der lateinischen Überlieferung Saturnia regna: Die Herrschaft des Saturn, des griechischen Kronos... In Indien hieß sie Yama; im Altpersischen Avesta hieß sie Yima xsaeta, ein Name, aus dem in Neupersien Jamshyd wurde; im Lateinischen hieß sie Saeturnus, dann Saturnus. Saturn beziehungsweise Kronos war unter vielen Namen als der Herrscher des Goldenen Zeitalters bekannt - jener Zeit, in der die Menschen weder Krieg noch Blutopfer kannten, noch die Ungleichheit der Klassen - , als Herr der Gerechtigkeit und der Maße, als Enki bei den Sumerern und in China als der Gelbe Kaiser und Gesetzgeber.

3.1. The academic consensus theories on the origin of writing

The present academic consensus on the origin of writing is that it arose in ancient Mesopotamia, and descended from clay token systems used for economic and administrative purposes, most notably the work of Schmandt-Besserat. Literature sources are: Daniels (1996), (Encarta : writing, alphabet), Haarmann (1990-1997), Noeth (1985: 256-273), Amiet (1966), Cohen (1958), Diringer (1948), (1953), Driver (1948), Gehlen (1964), Gelb (1952), Kyriatsoulis (1996), Lambert (1966), Schmandt-Besserat (1978, 1992), Schlott (1989). The oldest writing system was found in Uruk, Mesopotamia, dating around -3200 (Lambert 1966), and a little later the most ancient hieroglyphs in Egypt. The academic consensus is today that the idea of writing was borrowed from the Mesopotamians by the Egyptians, and they then devised their own script. (Daniels 1996: 24, 33). Chinese writing was probably invented independently of the western Eurasian writing systems. (Daniels 1996: 189-190).

Haarmann (1997: 677-679) discusses some of the heterodox opinions on the earliest proto-writing systems, namely the theories of Marshack (1972) and the Old European system to which I will return later. Other sources on non-conventional interpretations of writing are Dornseiff (1925), Kahir (1980), and Kallir (1961).

3.2. An outline for counterarguments to the consensus position

If we want to find a point to break open the argumentation of the current consensus theories on the origin of writing, we must strain our brains with a fair amount of indirect reasoning. We have to take into our account the two great blinkers of the archeological method: 1) The first is that it can only make reasonable retro-projections from the present-day social situation into the past. The present-day world wide situation of human social organization is that of a majority of cultures descended from the agrarian/horticultural/pastoral model, and a scattering of a few (fast disappearing) hunter-gatherer tribes that have been displaced and driven into the most infertile, inhospitable regions of the planet. There is some, but apparently not very much, cross-fertilization between cultural anthropology (CA) and archeology, and even less between CA and historical and philological sciences. By this, the cultural models that are well known in CA have not yet completely filtered into the mental frameworks of the other sciences, resulting in a considerable remaining bias of thought systems derived from the Eurocentric perspective. 2) And second, archeology must work on the base of the terribly biased evidence of archeologically preserved material that has come down to us, that has by some entirely improbable chances not been dissolved by the action of the elements over the intervening millennia.

These biases lead to still great misconceptions about the paleolithic life style, for example, that the main cultural implements that people were using then, were crude stone instruments. Even if we don't assume a former superior race of Pro-metheans, and when we look at the incredibly refined implements that so-called "primitive" bushmen made up to our times with organic materials (Sahlins 1976), we can imagine that paleolithic technology may have been anything but primitive, but utilized mainly organic material of which no trace has survived into our times. To say nothing of an incredible richness of rituals, songs, and other ephemeral culture. Similarly with writing. If clay based writing and proto-writing system have survived down to our times, this means only that those systems used by the great masses, with the cheapest materials, clay, have survived, and with them, some stone engravings, that were also written for the great masses. If there existed other notation systems, like the Inca quipu, that were made with ropes, or other organic material as base, we have no way of knowing about them, since their carrier materials didn't survive. Also, for the "law of the great mass", we might take a sideways glance at the present situation in the computer industry. As a much-suffering user of Microsaft® programs and operating systems, I am only too painfully aware of a common law that all the industry seems to follow as obediently, unquestioningly, and unerringly, like a horde of so many lemmings: "One 100 million flies can't be wrong! We will also buy Microsaft!" So, while there may be undoubtedly hundreds and thousands of clay token marks found all over the ancient fertile crescent, this does not mean that this is where the intelligence was. These tokens may have been what the hundreds of thousands of me-too's have made of a great invention. But I have to leave that thread of argument open for now, and will turn onto a different track.

[48] The source of this citation is: The anthropologist LOREN EISELEY (1907-1977), cited in the prologue of: William H. Calvin (1996b): "The River That Flows Uphill":
[49] Male bias.
[50] implicit: alphabetic writing as pinnacle of the evolution of writing.
[51] Male bias: history can be literally read as his-story.
[52] Mind / cognitive bias. What about the memory of the body? For example the history of the gut feeling?
[53] implicit ethno- / euro- / alphabet- centric deprecation of oral memory.
[54] There are many traces for the one who knows where to look for them. One may take "Hamlet's Mill", Dechend (1993) as a starting point for developing an outlook to the contrary position.
[55] Il-literate - meaning: non-alphabetically-letterate.
[56] It is rarely described in detail how the memory died, because it died in many cases because of intervening efforts by well meaning invaders, crusaders, conquerors, missionaries, teachers, government officials, and the like, who quite often came from conquering writing cultures. The natives would have continued to keep their stories alive and well for a long time if they had only been left in peace. See the chapter on genocide, in Diamond (1992: 276-309).
[57] for web, see also: The kinae- / klystae- / klostae- connection.
[58] Heidegger (1970, 1971, 1977) has used this method in his philosophy, but I am not aware that he has explained it anywhere (I could not read all of his 5000 pages or so of collected works). Most other philosophers seem to think that he has just played around with some false etymologies (personal communication, Klaus Kornwachs).
[59] But it is not simplistic at all, rather it is so complicated, that these webs are hard to track without computer tools. This is why the simiplistic Saussurean language model of signe arbitraire that was developed in the last 200 years were more practical and more workable for their times.
[60] Derived from Whitehead "Process and Reality", he uses the nexus as central concept, which is being adapted here to the language and cognitive domain. The Greek terms are: plexis / plektanae / plektae / plekoo / symplexis / synapsis.
[61] Homer described as daemiourgon onomaton, or master in the art of forming words (390e).
[62] Spitzer (1996, 229-268). Spitzer discusses sound associations in connection with schizophrenia, which is the standard treatment of western science regarding any effects that could pertain to trance and "alternate states of consciousness". See also: Lex (1979), Turner (1988)
[63] See "The kinae- / klystae- / klostae- connection"
[64] -> v. Dechend: Hamlet's Mill.
[65] Graves (p. 37, 6a): When Kronos castrated Ouranos, the blood that flowed onto the earth impregnated Gaia, and she gave birth to the Three Erinnyes, who avenge crimes of matri/patricide and perjury, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera.
[66] v. Dechend (below) equates Saturn again with Hephaistos.
[67] Heidegger (1977: 36-51)
[68] See Peirce's use of the phaneron as principal term, similarly to Heidegger.
Peirce: CP 1.284. Phaneroscopy is the description of the phaneron; and by the phaneron I mean the collective total of all that is in any way or in any sense present to the mind, quite regardless of whether it corresponds to any real thing or not. If you ask present when, and to whose mind, I reply that I leave these questions unanswered, never having entertained a doubt that those features of the phaneron that I have found in my mind are present at all times and to all minds. So far as I have developed this science of phaneroscopy, it is occupied with the formal elements of the phaneron. I know that there is another series of elements imperfectly represented by Hegel's Categories. But I have been unable to give any satisfactory account of them.
CP 1.285: English philosophers have quite commonly used the word idea in a sense approaching to that which I give to phaneron. But in various ways they have restricted the meaning of it too much to cover my conception (if conception it can be called), besides giving a psychological connotation to their word which I am careful to exclude. The fact that they have the habit of saying that "there is no such idea" as this or that, in the very same breath in which they definitely describe the phaneron in question, renders their term fatally inapt for my purpose.
[69] videre, vates=aoidos.

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