Bibliography for the
This book quite possibly contains the very first reference to the whistling language of La Gomera, and is found in the account of Peraza the Younger's death. Wölfel says that the original 1686 manuscript is in the Museo Canario on Gran Canaria (Canary Islands). The Museo Canario, however, says it isn't. Therefore, I've only seen the later version.
Marín y Cubas, T.A.
If the first reference to the Gomeran whistling language is not to be found in Castillo's 1686 MS, it is certain to be found here. Once again, I have been unable to see the original, but Marín y Cubas is known as a great embellisher (for instance, in the story of Peraza's death in 1488 he goes into detail about the type and color of the clothes Peraza was wearing, which no other chronicler mentions), and so I prefer to believe that Castillo was the first. If you find an earlier reference, please let the world know.
Bethencourt Alfonso, J.
This article, while not scientific in any sense of the word, is the first of its kind attempting to bring notice to the little known island of La Gomera and its phenomenal form of whistled communication.
Quedenfeldt, M. (Bethencourt
Alfonso, Bolle, Fritsche, Manrique)
Quedenfeldt had the right idea, but he was stumped for a form of representation. Unfortunately for him, common musical notation will never be capable of charting the nuances of whistled speech, and spectrograms/sonograms had not been invented yet.
Dr. Verneau's experiences with the whistling language of La Gomera (while visiting the island during his stay in the Canaries) have been recounted in almost every paper and book subsequently written on the subject.
Lajard has the honor of being the first one to "crack the code". In view of how often Dr. Verneau has been quoted, it is a pity that Verneau never saw this article.
This travelogue contains interesting anecdotes of the whistling language's uses.
This article repeats, almost word for word, Verneau's experiences on La Gomera which were published in 1891.
A compilation of all that had been written, by that time, on the subject of the Canary Islands.
Deals with the sale of Gomeran christians as slaves after the rebellion of 1488.
General overview, nothing new.
Bethencourt Alfonso, J.
(Espinosa, Lajard, Bonnet, De Cavin, Alvarez
A little pulp booklet which, as the title suggests, is a collection of opinions. It was probably sold in kiosks for tourist consumption.
National Geographic Magazine
Here the whistling language of La Gomera is described as a true, living language.
The first scientific treatise on the subject.
Wraps up the main conclusions of Classe's 1956 work in a journalistic format.
As above, but in Spanish.
As in <Scientific American>.
Classe's 1956 work translated into Spanish by the University of La Laguna, Tenerife.
This primarily deals with Native Mexican Indian whistling languages, but there is a short section on the Gomeran Whistling Language at the end.
More of Classes's same conclusions.
A linguistic analysis of the legendary phrase "ajeliles juxaques aventamares" uttered by Peraza the Younger's mistress, the Gomeran princess Iballa, just before Peraza's death.
Busnel puts forth the hypothesis that men and delphinidae could communicate with each other by means of a whistled language such as the one on La Gomera.
Siemens Hernandez, L.
This short article mentions Gomera's whistling language and other instances of what seems to be communicative whistling on Gran Canaria and Tenerife.
Nowak heads a center for Canarian studies in Vienna, Austria. These are his opinions and anecdotes "for the record".
In this book Cousteau suggests the whistling language could be the beginning of communication between man and dolphins. Dr. Cousteau's opinion has now been modified to the more realistic realization that humans and porpoises have very little in common, and language as we know it is very probably something completely foreign to them.
Busnel, R.-G./Classe, A.
Busnel sums up his earlier papers on the whistling languages of Turkey and France. Classe reiterates and fleshes out his conclusions from his 1956 work. A very impressive book, however Classe's phonetic breakdown seems to stem from subjective analysis rather than from a careful examination of a large body of empirical data gathered from native whistlers. There are only 2 sonograms of Gomeran whistles in this book.
Sebeok, Thomas A. (editor)
I sure wish I'd known about this book before I started running around to libraries all over the world trying to track down references to the Gomeran whistling language! This remains the most complete compilation of surrogate communication systems ever published, even though a few relatively important references are missing.
This book is basically a refutation of many of Classe's phonetic conclusions, with over 80 spectrograms to support Trujillo's claims. Trujillo worked off of the 1959 Spanish translation ("La Fonetica del Silbo Gomero") of Classe's 1956 original, and was, unfortunately, completely unaware of the Busnel/Classe 1976 collaboration "Whistled Languages". Trujillo is currently working on a new revised English version, which will take into account Busnel/Classe's 1976 work.
My only criticism of this incredibly comprehensive book is lack of footnotes - It was sometimes very difficult to track down the primary source of various references. All in all, the late Mercer's 1980 work is probably the definitive compilation in English of the most relevant points in the history of the Canary Islands.