Punch,  40 (1861), 219.

The Lisping Tribes



News-Commentary, Drollery


Ethnology, Anthropology, Hunting, Exploration, Animal Behaviour, Race, Human Species, Human Development, Language, Class

    Describes a discussion at the Ethnological Society that followed Paul B Du Chaillu's paper on the 'natives of Western Africa' (a version of which was published as Du Chaillu 1861b). Infers from the work of this 'mighty hunter of gorillas' that the 'principal distinction' between this species and 'some of their human neighbours' is that the 'latter are cannibals. Goes on to describe how, in the ensuing discussion, John Crawfurd, observed that both the Bakalai tribe and the Chinese sound 'r' like 'l', which has the unfortunate consequence of making 'rice' sound like 'lice'. Punch notes with relief that 'youthful swells' pronounce 'r' like 'w' and thus do not make rice sound 'disgusting'.

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