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Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):525-526 (1998)
There is not enough reason to believe that syllables are primary in speech and evolved from the cyclic movements of chewing. There are many differences between chewing and speech and it is equally plausible that what is primary in speech is a succession of auditorily robust modulations of various acoustic parameters (amplitude, periodicity, spectrum, pitch); syllables could have evolved from this.
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