Just had a thought. (Guess I haven't read enough books where something like this has already been thought of and written about. So TA is now my think pad. Call me lazy!)
But first, a preface. I've noticed in chat rooms how people often misspell their, there, your, you're, etc. It happens much more often in spontaneous chat room environments than in other, less spontaneous mediums. I think this is because the written word doesn't come nearly as naturally as speech does in the auditory/vocal medium. It takes months to learn auditory language, but years to learn written language.
Also note the spontaneous creativity of chat room spelling, misspelling, and emoticons. (Ha, I already hear some of y'all cringing. But please, sit back and try to observe this from a neo-cultural perspective, or perhaps even in scientific terms of the evolution of human language and communications.)
Here's what I'm getting to. We're all familiar with how it's often easy to misunderstand the tone of a writer, especially in emotion-laden discussions. Likewise, it takes more work to add tone to be understood better. So what I'm thinking now is, isn't tone also a musical attribute? Does it seem as obvious to you (as it does to me, at this moment) that the ability to add tone and mood to our audio communications significantly amplifies its effectiveness?
Now I have to read and think more about other components of music besides "tone". And I also wonder if "music" in language was once even more important/effective back when we had a tiny, fledgling vocabulary. This is actually the big question I'm asking, and that's why I think it fits in this topic about the evolution/importance of music and other (possibly "built in") rules (and mores?) of communication.
(SHOOT! I have not yet read the Singing Neanderthals, as recommended to me earlier.)
Also, I don't mean to ignore body/facial language components of communication. But it seems clear that the musical components alone very significantly add meaning to vocalizations, e.g. as when we're talking on the phone, or in some other way blind to the speaker's visual cues. Hmm, now I'm even wondering if someday some of our emoticons could have some kind of short, musical attachment. Or something like that. Miniature facial snapshots of ourselves, for some words?
Ok, I've read several reviews of The Singing Neanderthals, and get the gist of it. Woohoo, it does look like significant food for thought! Albeit with some speculation, of course, as music and language leave few fossils. Here's the best, informative review I've read, so far.
And here are two listings (with reviews) at Amazon for the book:
So I've had this vocal meme in my head, much like a musical earworm. I'll bet they're neurologically related.
Pure speculation, of course.
Previous link no worky. Try this one.