Re: Neanderthals...

H. M. Hubey (
5 Oct 1995 01:32:59 -0400 (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

Liberman's original contention was that Neandertals couldn't talk.

He later changed his mind and changed it to the point where he
claimed that the Neandertal speech apparatus was equivalent
more or less to that of a 5-6 year old child and not a present
day adult.

However, 5-6 year olds are perfectly capable of human speech, so
it doesn't make much difference now. Slowly but surely the
Neandertals have been losing their bad press and becoming
more and more human.


Regards, Mark