Re: Archaic H. sapiens???

Phil Nicholls (
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 15:12:37 GMT (MSCob) wrote:

>Michael McBroom wrote about the Neanderthal palate and throat:
> The morphology of the Neanderthal palate and
>basicranial area, however, indicates that his vowel and consonant
>inventory was much more limited than ours.
> Doesn't it show that his inventory was different from ours, rather
>than necessarily more limited? He could not produce the extreme point
>vowels (a, i, u), as I recall, but there are lots of sounds in modern
>languages that are not exploited as widely as they might be, which might
>have filled out the Neantherthal phonetic inventory: tones; implosive
>consonants; trills; clicks.

I have often had similar thoughts when I read the Lieberman and Crelin
stuff. It all sounds so ethnocentric -- they can't make key sounds of
European languages, therefore they must not have been able to speak.

Phil Nicholls
"To ask a question, you must first know
most of the answer." Robert Sheckley