Let us begin by thinking about H, as an anomalous consonant. It's breathy and always requires an exhalation; and thus can be seen as the engine behind a vowel howl. The properties of H are quite unlike the orally smothering lisps, palate-brutalist clicks and gnashing ticks of the other consonants, H is the softest, the sympathetic consonant from the chest, from the heart – it is the only non-oral consonant. It bathes the vowels (e.g. : “home”, “help”, “hehehe” and “honey”) in vaporous cloud of life, of corporeal, human life. H the signifier for ones soul, God breathed life into Adam(1), a genesis of ceramico-pneumatic poiesis – it can be argued that our breath is that of Gods, we share our respiratory material with god, when we are unconscious or asleep asleep we breath. H is the ever-present breath. Its absence is death.
Let’s take a moment to analyze the more typological characterizations of H in context with it’s consonantal peers.
H is has 2 lines of reflectional symmetry, the only other consonant that also contains these is X. X is the polar opposite of H in nature, it delivers a flurry of oral violence against the vowel. Say “HEX”, slow it down, “hheeeeccckkkkksss”, “heeeekkkst” - the X is a triad, a chimerical beast that can kill a vowel with a tumble of tongued, teethly guillotine strikes, X is a massacre, a spinning triple kick of devastating logos shackling brutality.
X marks the spot, it denotes a place, it is a mark – in the strictly Derridian sense it is a deathly cross, a morbid hieroglyphic – signifying a loss presence, a signature of void, the hand of an event that was. It is historically analogous that the X has been used a the substitute signature for the illiterate who cannot scrawl their absence, the X is chosen, not a flourish of affirmative ticks or the neutrality of the hyphen but the mortological signification of X is most apt.
But back to soulful, affirmative and positivistic H. Think of laughter: “Hehehehe”, or “Hahahaha”. Can you hear a consonant other than a silently lungosonic H in laughter? Often not, certainly not in genuine laugher; utter joy, 'hysterics' (often characterised as its ascent into pure respiratory reaction) and happiness and are often, uncontrollably expressed in a respire-centric pneumatization of H and vowels. Are these not more quite natural phenomena that support H’s corporeal sympathy, and position as an affirmative signifier of life and soul?
However, there is an exception, the sinister laugh: Mwhahaha - an exhalation of vowel howls tied to a primary foundation of consonantal control. This eruption of evil consonantal palate mechanisms entwining around genuinely animalistic and respirocentric vocalizations can be been elsewhere, in martial arts, battle cries and malicious sports chants – where by a strong animalistic vowel, a howl, is heightened (in an almost reflexive utilization of phonetic constructs) to intimidation through the aggressively rapid deployment of brutalizing consonantal phonemes. A prevalent example of this has successfully been reincarnated in modern video games (perhaps due to low quality sound, a merely tonal, vowelocentric vocalization of aggression could also be mis-understood, or mis-heard, as a cry of pain or desperation(2)). The now infamous “Hadouken” or the “ATATA” (coincidentally both triphonic) are fittingly caricaturesque examples of such sinisterly entwined consonantal and vowelian inter-phonemic dynamics.
The tyranny of consonants within language, their mode of dominance with logos against corporeal expression or sublimely alogos respiratory vocalization is becoming more ubiquitous as technologically formatted means of communication emerge. Example: predictive text. As the monopoly of the E.161 12-key telephone keypad stoically stands as our only interface for converting our agitated and twitching digits into digital code, we are jettisoning the signifiers of passion – we are missing out the vowels.
However as Reza Negarestani comments on vowels:
Firstly, vowels are among the fundamental anthropomorphic oversimplifying systems over communication (worse than redundancy) Back to neo-Sumerian age: see how the channel regimes of hieroglyphs/pictographs or tools of ‘corporealization / stabilization’ and transcendental informatics directly deposit as vowels, making a consolidated repression on the cognitive interfaces or the affect space of the nervous system and how vowels are customized as the Nucleus of ‘representation’. On the hand, consider vowelless alphabets and the gates they creatively open (just a few obvious threads): right-brain processing (i.e. slow processing or taking a more engaging paths for interlocking with communication systems) ; engineering semantic irresolution which brings an immense tolerance of informatic pollution (suspension, horror, complexities, deferral, etc.), this offers a great potential for engaging with ambiguities and abstractions; the resistance to voice (the authority: pharaoh?) is exceptionally increased; etc.
 also visuo-spatial processing and the ability of identity-recognition of different objects with different configurations are highly promoted. "
Negarestani states that vowels are part of an anthropomorphism of "systems of communication". But isn't a system of communication essentially a construct? To anthropocentrically construct an intrinsically vital component of a communication system (the vowel) that so beautifully expresses, and affords space for the corporealization of language, for the whimper or the battle cry to be the pneumatico-respiratory soul between the guillotines of logos’ mercenary consonantal foot soldiers – isn’t this a valuable substitute for more autonomous or flexible forms of communication (such as digitalized programs, or mathematically formed matrices)?
Let’s reconsider the historic significatory politics of the vowel first, for as yet we have only contemplated the articulatory aspects. It is all well and good to juxtapose the eight consonantal articulations (bilabial, labiodental, interdental, alveolar, palatal, velar, glottal and uvulars) and pit them against a helplessly emotional, soft and fleshy vowel (which has one mode of articulation: airflow) – but this would be to binary, too easy.
Rather than investigate a pareidolic mirage, echoing The Connors fight against Skynetian cyborg persecution(3), we must dig deeper. In this linguistic excavation we can return to Negarestani once more:
“vowelless alphabets are just anthropomorphic as they have been engineered by the high priests of Semitic Slaves (and in their open laboratories) who unleashed their alphabetic epidemic once they composed it (no later or extra programming) ... think using the term anthropomorphic in a negative sense (economical lines of transcendence, corporealization, expression, communication, etc) is not appropriate here ... their alphabetic epidemic hit autonomy and activated as a self-propagation germline with its own uncontrollable artificial intelligence, diversities and cognitive insurgencies as soon as it was set free ... vowelless alphabets are not anthropomorphic in this negative sense but radically artificial, emerged out of participations between different lines simultaneously: hyperstitional grasp of the universe [there is no word FICTION in ancient Hebrew because it’s already a contagious fiction], numeracy, anti-image / anti-voice cognitive patterns, etc.) ... but take the path of vowels: the authoritative corporealization systems of the early syllabic/pictographic languages (entirely based on the despotic anthropomorphism or affordance-based [J. J. Gibson] cognition with the universe through representation and corporealization) are directly deposited as vowels. Vowels are also autonomous in some respects as they restrain, direct and manage, re-organize and smuggle the initial anthropomorphic transcendence of the pictographs’ corporealization systems and their cognitive / vocal repressions through the progression (evolution?) of vowel-based alphabets ... vowels are watchers: they maintain programs of their nucleus. They carry and develop their nucleus without introducing much diversity to it -- only re-organization of their nucleus by re-organizing themselves. Vowels (re-)manage and optimize the initial despotic corporealization processes and the VOICE (Who?: Pharaoh, God, Cosmos, Oedipus, Sphinx?) lurking within them from the first syllabic/pictographic place.”
Corporealizatory linguistic evolution as a product of repression from anthropological corpo-forms – the ancient logograms harboured an anthropological tyranny, rooted in repression, and this tyranny has evolved into the vowel graphemes and phonemes of today. Should we re-think vowels as the breathy, harmonious, resonantal, ghostly, Siren-Cyclons that haunt and thwart our voyage to the Eden of truly autonomous communication? Or rather should we simply cherish their corporeality, their autonomy from communication constructs and their opportunity as gates to the animalistic? Is this another form of the dyadic extimacy within the voice?
(1)See Sloterdijk, for further ceramic-pneumatic analysis in Genesis.
(2)This also aligns the platonic thread of logoscentricism against the voice as harmony or music – of meaning and sense being the the side car of political, phallocentric dominance.
(3)Or simply allows one to dredge up Dolarian dyadicisms – the ineradictable extimacies of consonantal/vowelific phonotactics..
Useful links and stuff
The Old Babylonian Period (c. 1900-1500 BCE) Languages recording at SOAS
http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/003522.html - Mark on predictive texts
Mark and Reza on vowel elimination
http://hyperstition.abstractdynamics.org/archives/003548.html - etc