Re: Is it NeanderTHals or NeanderTals??

Geoffrey Watson (
7 Dec 1994 00:33:01 GMT (Ewald Pfau) writes:

> MRB> I grew up with the term 'Neanderthal', but lately I seen
> MRB> and heard 'Neandertal' alot. Is the 'tal' version more
> MRB> correct or is it that some just perfer it over 'thal'?
> MRB> [personally I can't stand the term 'Neandertal', everytime
> MRB> I hear it it just grates on me]

> MRB> Well, which is it?

>German writing has changed in the course of about 100 years. In old
>books or street signs you may find the old 'Th'

>It is understood, but in active writing in everyday sense, "Tal" is used
>(in effect, "Thal" is wrong then).

>In reading it gives (just) a bit of that notion, "take time to pronounce
>the 'a'" (the 'h' will not affect spelling of the 't'). :-)

>In living at a place of which the name ends on "Tal", I am quite often
>asked, after having spelled my address to someone, if it is written
>"Thal". I prefer to answer: if s/he likes reminiscences of ancient
>times, yes, else not.

>So you're better off to take "Neandertal" since this is not referring to
>a research done in 1890.

Trinkaus and Shipman discuss the spelling the spelling change in
``The Neandertals'' (1993, p276).

Apparently the US adopted the modern German spelling in the 1950's but
the UK still use the historical spelling (from the 1850's). Thus in
``The Cambridge Encylcopedia of Human Evolution'' (1992), you will find
the human type spelled as NeanderTHAL but the site spelled NeanderTAL !!

The older German spelling is of course retained in the specific/subspecific

Hope this helps 8-)

Geoffrey Watson