Could we speak Neanderthal?

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

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.
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.

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

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
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:
I wonder if Neanderthals had given names? Hell, I wonder if Cro Magnons did too. Cap't Jack
Yeah yeah!!!
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
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!

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. :lol:
Occam

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
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

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

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

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?
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
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdUEjpcKJ1E
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?
The supposition is that it may have facilitated more inter species dating than was previously suspected, at least in Europe and the Middle East which is why BTW Neanderthal influenced genes show up in those of us with European ancestry. Hmm, I wonder what ever happened to 23 and Me? Cap't Jack

not much I guess.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/23andMe FDA[edit] According to Anne Wojcicki, 23andMe has been in dialogue with the FDA since 2008.[22] In 2010 the FDA notified several genetic testing companies, including 23andMe, that their genetic tests are considered medical devices and federal approval is required to market them.[13][26] 23andMe first submitted applications for FDA clearance in July and September 2012.[27] On November 22, 2013, after not hearing from 23andMe for six months, the FDA ordered 23andMe to stop marketing its Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service (PGS) as 23andMe had not demonstrated that they have "analytically or clinically validated the PGS for its intended uses" and the "FDA is concerned about the public health consequences of inaccurate results from the PGS device".[27][28][29] As of December 2, 2013, 23andMe has stopped all advertisements for its PGS test but is still selling the product.[30][31] As of December 5, 2013, 23andMe is only selling raw genetic data and ancestry-related results.[32][33][34] ...

That’s too bad. I really wanted to participate in the project.
Cap’t Jack

Check it out, hot off the press:

Nepalese Sherpas inherited ability to thrive in high altitudes from extinct humans Meredith Knight | July 3, 2014 | Genetic Literacy Project] [snip] On their way out of African homo sapiens likely bred with Denisovans somewhere in central Asia where some of the progeny picked up the EPAS1 mutation. For those homo sapiens that migrated to high altitudes, the gene variant was advantageous, so it spread quickly through the population and just kept going. “What we’re learning from ancient genomes is that while each of them may have contributed only a little to our ancestry, those genetic streams were full of tiny golden nuggets of useful genes," anthropologist John Hawks told Yong. There is precedent for this kind of interspecies breeding in hominids with direct, beneficial genetic effect, Catherine Brahic points out: Humans interbred with Neanderthals soon after moving out of Africa, when we were ill-equipped to cope with Eurasian diseases. However Neanderthals had been hanging out in Europe and Asia for much longer, so their immune systems had adapted. There is evidence that humans snagged some of the Neanderthals’ immunity genes when the two mated, perhaps helping us to spread across the planet. [snip]