Re: Neanderthals...

5 Oct 1995 04:23:09 GMT

In article <44vge0$>, (MFeldman77) writes:
>I've never understood the interest in hyoid bones. It is a free bone that
>is independent of the size of the pharynx. The issue that Lieberman
>brings up is not that Neanderthals can't talk, it is that the shape of the
>pharynx precludes complicated sounds. There is no doubt that the shape of
>the skull shortens the chamber size of the Neanderthal's pharynx compared
>to modern man. In fact, the Neanderthal pharynx may have been smaller
>than Homo erectus'. In other words, while they may have had language, the
>range of speech had to be different than ours.
>BTW, Laitman (American Journal of Physical Anthropology 81:254) points out
>that pig hyoid bones are much closer to human than the Kebara fossils are.

Have you ever seen a pig hyoid? The suggestion was ridiculous. There have
been many good articles countering Lieberman's arguments. If you're interested,
I suggest you look into the whole debate, not just one side.