Paper Suggests Neanderthals Could Speak
July 15, 2013 6:23 AM
(Source: 20th Century Fox)
But can they sing? And was Dr. Zaius involved?
He can speak, he can speak, he can speak!
Troy McClure as Taylor
I can singggg!"
"Planet of the Apes: The Musical" from
epsiode "A Fish Called Selma"
A research team at the
's (MPI) Psycholinguistics department has analyzed recent discoveries on humans' close relatives -- the Neanderthals (
) and Denisovans (
) -- and offered a controversial hypothesis. They propose that Neanderthals, and likely Denisovans had languages and that these human relatives likely spoke with humans during their interactions.
Recent DNA discoveries have cast new light on the interactions of humans and their relatives.
Once viewed as dumb and brooding hunter-gatherers, Neanderthals inhabited much of western Eurasia from 350,000 to 600,000 years ago, and later migrated back to Africa. But new evidence shows that Neanderthals actually had larger adult brains than humans,
a very similar genetic makeup
, and advanced tool use. What's more there is strong evidence they exchange culture -- trading with early humans -- and even more shockingly
had sex with them, producing offspring
. Much of the interbreeding appeared to occur when humans and Neanderthals migrated back to Africa some 50,000 to 80,000 years ago.
Neanderthals interbred and traded with humans in Africa and Europe. [Image Source: AP]
The simplistic world-view was further shaken by
the discovery of the Denisovans
-- another ancient relative that remained unknown until archaeological finds and gene research in the latter half of the last decade. Like Neanderthals, Denisovans appear to have enjoyed a prosperous interaction with the locals some 30,000-300,000 years ago.
The evidence of rich ongoing interbreeding with each group suggested that these genetic exchanges
weren't examples of raping
and pillaging. There's strong evidence some humans on their own free will bedded these relatives intermixing their lines for long stretches of time.
The human family tree is much more complex than previously thought. [Image Source: MPI]
MPI Professors Dan Dediu and Stephen C. Levinson say that this indicates that early man must have been able to communicate with his early relatives; they must have been capable of speech. They argue this hypothesis is further supported by the lack of discovery of a single or handful of "magic" genes that alone "create" the capacity for speech.
Rather they argue that speech evolved between the emergence of the
genus 1.8 million years ago and the emergence of Neanderthals, Denisovans, and Humans common answer --
some 600,000 to 1.3 million years ago.
In a press release MPI
, "This reassessment of the evidence goes against a saltationist scenario where a single catastrophic mutation in a single individual would suddenly give rise to language, and suggests that a gradual accumulation of biological and cultural innovations is much more plausible."
Humans might not have a monopoly on speech. [Image Source: Career Realism]
The researchers suggest that differences between European and Asian languages may be attributable to traces of lost Denisovan and Neanderthal languages that crept into the speech of the humans who interacted and interbred with them. They suggest further work be done to model language spread with computer simulations and to compare the structural properties of the African (where humans interbred with Neanderthals) and non-African languages (where humans may have bred with Denisovans).
The pair have
[abstract] their paper in the journal
Frontiers in Language Sciences
Frontiers in Language Sciences
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
Neanderthal Genome is Finished and Free
March 21, 2013, 8:11 AM
Neanderthal Sex Gave Europeans and Asians Stronger Immune Systems
August 26, 2011, 4:20 PM
Study: How Human Evolution Caused us to Lose Our Spiny Penises
March 10, 2011, 9:30 AM
Neanderthal Genome Complete; Provides Evidence of Evolution, Interbreeding
May 7, 2010, 10:47 AM
PIQ ROBOTTM reveals its new artificial intelligence software
November 29, 2016, 12:59 AM
One more time - Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone Around the World
November 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Google’s Smart Contact Lens Project gets halted for 2016
November 20, 2016, 7:00 AM
Cell Research Study shows African Americans have greater immune response to infection
November 10, 2016, 1:00 AM
UTHealth Clinical Trial Shows Progress Using Stem Cells to Treat Traumatic Brain Injury
November 8, 2016, 1:00 AM
Uber Partners with Circulation to Pilot Program Connecting Transportation and Digital Health Care
November 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Most Popular Articles
What Can You Do with Your New Echo Dot?
December 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Google has developed Deep Learning Algorithm to detect Diabetic Eye Disease
December 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Sound Blaster Z SBX PCIE Gaming Sound Card - Superb High Performance Sound Card
December 6, 2016, 1:00 AM
GizmoTab – Verizon’s new $80 Tablet for Kids
December 4, 2016, 5:30 AM
Foscam R2 Home Security Camera System – High Quality High FHD Security Video Footage with No Monthly Fees
December 1, 2016, 2:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Dec 10, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 9, 2016, 5:00 AM
Latest Tech News
Dec 8, 2016, 5:11 AM
In The News
Dec 7, 2016, 5:00 AM
e Guide: Mobile Security for 2017
Dec 6, 2016, 5:00 AM
Apple Car is Not Dead
Dec 5, 2016, 1:00 AM
Dec 4, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 3, 2016, 5:00 AM
Dec 2, 2016, 5:00 AM
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Dec 1, 2016, 3:01 AM
Chapeconense plane crash: Football rallies around Brazilian Team
Nov 30, 2016, 1:00 AM
How to Extends Your iPhone’s Battery Life
Nov 29, 2016, 12:49 AM
Nov 28, 2016, 1:12 AM
News: Fidel Castro
Nov 27, 2016, 5:00 AM
Nov 26, 2016, 5:00 AM
Changes in Social status affect the way genes turn on and off within immune cells.
Nov 25, 2016, 5:12 AM
Austrian far–right hopeful Hofer may back EU vote.
Nov 24, 2016, 4:00 AM
Final Fantasy XV Leaked Before Nov 29 Launch Date
Nov 23, 2016, 1:00 AM
Nov 22, 2016, 2:26 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information