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Could we speak Neanderthal?


Forums Forums Science and Technology Could we speak Neanderthal?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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  • #17226

    I was meaning to post this info on Neanderthal speech but Fidalgo beat me to it. Here it is anyway; a new study points to our ancient cousins being able to communicate. It seems that their hyoid bone, previously thought to be shaped differently and out of place wasn’t after all. Paleoanthropologist’s suspect that this was true even for our distant ancestor Homo Heidelbergensis. This could push hominid speech back to 500,000 ya instead of the current estimate of the current estimate of ca. 100,000 and may also include the recently found Denisovan remains. There could have been as many as three species of hominins with the capability of speech existing simultaneously and this May account for the possibility of cross breeding at least between Neanderthals and Cro Magnons. Wouldn’t you liked to have heard “those” conversations?
    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00397/full
    Cap’t Jack

    #198971
    @vyazma
    Blocked

    Wouldn’t you liked to have heard “those” conversations?
    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00397/full
    Cap’t Jack

    VA, I would probably give my left arm to have heard those conversations.

    #198976
    @vyazma
    Blocked

    Wouldn’t you liked to have heard “those” conversations?
    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00397/full
    Cap’t Jack

    VA, I would probably give my left arm to have heard those conversations.
    Oh yeah one disclaimer though….If I’m giving my left arm, I want them translated perfectly. With nuances, dialects and slang and anything else.
    Then it would be a done deal. Goodbye left arm.

    #198977

    To be honest Vy, this is a subject that has interested me for many years. We all like “what if” scenarios and Brian Fagan’s book Cro Magnon really piqued my curiosity and after reading it I couldn’t get enough info fast enough. Now Svante Paabo has a new one out I just bought, Neanderthal Man, In Search of Lost Genomes. Speculation is (notice the word speculation) that there may be other species of hominins yet to be discovered. It seems that our cousins weren’t such grunting slugs after all.
    Cap’t Jack

    #198978

    Oh yeah one disclaimer though….If I’m giving my left arm, I want them translated perfectly. With nuances, dialects and slang and anything else.
    Then it would be a done deal. Goodbye left arm.

    How about an experiment with a kind of sci-FI twist? If scientists could generate a computer model of a Neanderthal larynx maybe, just maybe they could approximate a series of sounds. It’s been done BTW by paleontologists to recreate the sounds emitted by certain dinosaurs. Of course, you probably wouldn’t have to have your left arm lopped off to prove it! I wonder if Neanderthals had given names? Hell, I wonder if Cro Magnons did too.
    Cap’t Jack

    #198979
    @vyazma
    Blocked

    Oh yeah one disclaimer though….If I’m giving my left arm, I want them translated perfectly. With nuances, dialects and slang and anything else.
    Then it would be a done deal. Goodbye left arm.

    How about an experiment with a kind of sci-FI twist? If scientists could generate a computer model of a Neanderthal larynx maybe, just maybe they could approximate a series of sounds. It’s been done BTW by paleontologists to recreate the sounds emitted by certain dinosaurs. Of course, you probably wouldn’t have to have your left arm lopped off to prove it! I wonder if Neanderthals had given names? Hell, I wonder if Cro Magnons did too.
    Cap’t Jack

    Yes, yes but obviously, as you may have already guessed, it’s not the tonality or the sound of their voices.
    It’s what they were talking about that would blow my mind. Can you imagine?
    Wow!! If we could somehow find that out-and we CAN’T-can you imagine?
    What were their cultures? Their views on nature? Their fears? Everything! :ahhh:

    #198980
    @vyazma
    Blocked

    I wonder if Neanderthals had given names? Hell, I wonder if Cro Magnons did too.
    Cap’t Jack

    Yeah yeah!!!

    #198984

    Yes, yes but obviously, as you may have already guessed, it’s not the tonality or the sound of their voices.
    It’s what they were talking about that would blow my mind. Can you imagine?
    Wow!! If we could somehow find that out-and we CAN’T-can you imagine?
    What were their cultures? Their views on nature? Their fears? Everything! I

    How about some fiction to boost your imagination? Ever read the Clan of the Cave Bear series? They even have a cheesy movie based on the book. Of course the Neanderthals are depicted as being slow witted and shuffling compared to their captive Cro Magnon woman who is raped and impregnated. Her half breed son is brighter than his father of course and the rest is movie history. Then they all die out in a cave near Gibraltar and our ancestors populate the planet, systematically killing off every species competing with us and now the chimpanzees, our own distant cousins are becoming endangered, but I digress. So we know how this is going to end but I want to know how it began.
    Cap’t Jack

    #198987
    @vyazma
    Blocked

    How about some fiction to boost your imagination? Ever read the Clan of the Cave Bear series? They even have a cheesy movie based on the book. Of course the Neanderthals are depicted as being slow witted and shuffling compared to their captive Cro Magnon woman who is raped and impregnated. Her half breed son is brighter than his father of course and the rest is movie history. Then they all die out in a cave near Gibraltar and our ancestors populate the planet, systematically killing off every species competing with us and now the chimpanzees, our own distant cousins are becoming endangered, but I digress. So we know how this is going to end but I want to know how it began.
    Cap’t Jack

    I loved your addition above about the given names.
    I’ll bet they did. Where in the evolution of language did given names come along? Probably before language as we classify it.
    I’ll bet proto-people were identified individually by grunts or clicks or whatever. I’ll bet they had fundamental handles even then. How couldn’t they?
    Names for food. Names for trees. For water! For the sun….When did that start happening?
    I’m not too keen on the fiction myself. Not in this type of genre. But I dig where you’re coming from!

    #198990
    @occam
    Member

    Hell, I don’t know what you are all so amped about. From what I’ve seen you could apply all those questions to many modern people who speak in grunts, don’t understand the most basic oral ideas or word meanings, and (my favorite) wouldn’t recognize a joke if it bit them on their nose. 😆
    Occam

    #198991

    I loved your addition above about the given names.
    I’ll bet they did. Where in the evolution of language did given names come along? Probably before language as we classify it.
    I’ll bet proto-people were identified individually by grunts or clicks or whatever. I’ll bet they had fundamental handles even then. How couldn’t they?
    Names for food. Names for trees. For water! For the sun….When did that start happening?
    I’m not too keen on the fiction myself. Not in this type of genre. But I dig where you’re coming from!

    Come to think of it Vy I did some research a while back on the Zulus,( they beat the living shit out of a British regiment in 1879 with short spears and cowhide shields at Isandlwana) and after they conquered South Africa they included the Bushman’s click in their language (see Ladysmith Black Mumbazo or rather listen to their music) and Paleoanthropologists suspect that it might be an echo of a protolanguage. As to given names, it varied but was usually what you did or where you came from. Could also be a vision name given by the village elders or a “holy man/woman. My wife’s maiden name for example is a place name as is mine originally. It’s Anglo-Saxon. And didn’t you read your Bible? Adam named the plants and animals! Of course the truth is that linguists believe the Sanskrit was probably the mother tongue of all European and Middle Eastern languages. That is until we built this tower and the big G got pissed and made us all speak different languages and now when we go to church we can “talk in tongues”.
    Cap’t Jack

    #198993

    Hell, I don’t know what you are all so amped about. From what I’ve seen you could apply all those questions to many modern people who speak in grunts, don’t understand the most basic oral ideas or word meanings, and (my favorite) wouldn’t recognize a joke if it bit them on their nose.
    Occam

    Yeah, and the ones who annoy me the most are the mumblers who talk through their teeth. Digressing again but did you know that there are around twenty different dialects in the U.S? How do Southerners from the deeeep South communicate with some guido from Jersey?
    Cap’t Jack

    #198994
    @occam
    Member

    Little aside. If you want to hear a great use of the click, see if you can find any songs by Miriam Makeba – wonderful singer of the ’50s and ’60s.
    Occam

    #198995

    Yep, she used to sing some Zulu songs as well as popular folk songs back in the day. You can still look her up on YouTube.
    Cap’t Jack

    #198996
    @yosemitesam
    Member

    Wouldn’t you liked to have heard “those” conversations?
    http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00397/full
    Cap’t Jack

    Wow, it gets interestinger and interestinger all the time.

    “On the antiquity of language: the reinterpretation of Neandertal linguistic capacities and its consequences”
    Dediu and Levinson
    “Moreover, we suggest that present-day linguistic diversity might have been shaped by interactions with such archaic humans during modern human expansions across the world. …”
    We propose that essentially modern language is phylogenetically quite old, being already present in the common ancestor of these two lineages about half a million years ago (that is, five to ten times older than is often assumed) …”

    It is important to appreciate that different Neandertal genes are found in different modern human individuals, which “suggests that the number of contacts was not very small—more like the low thousands or high hundreds than dozens” (Hawks, 2013). Whatever the rates of interbreeding, the genes acquired by modern humans may have been crucial. For it is possible that some Neandertal and Denisovan genes conferred strong selective advantages in the out-of-Africa environment, especially in the immune system, and have very high frequencies in modern populations despite low levels of interbreeding (Hawks and Cochran, 2006). …
    Taken together, these suggest that Neandertals, Denisovans and modern humans were very similar, although of course not identical, hominins.

    That “hyoid bone” thing is way more complicated than I thought… funny how that works.
    So, as they used to ask: What’s the moral of this story?
    While they were exchanging some genes here and there, pillow talk was inevitable?
    … one things leads to another and the rest, as they say, is history?
    Is it time to revisit the Basques?

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