A new study from researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics has found that Neanderthals may have been capable of communicating using somewhat complex language.
A new study from researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics has found that Neanderthals may have been capable of communicating using a somewhat complex language.
Humans diverged from the common ancestor we share with Neanderthals some 400 thousand years ago.
The research suggests that Neanderthals may have slowly evolved language skills, along with the other human like species that were alive a million years ago.
They based this conclusion on genetic evidence that modern humans interacted and interbred with Neanderthals and another ancient genetic relative known as Denisovans in Africa.
Franklin Yates of George Washington University said: “I estimated what a Neanderthal's vocal tract would look like if it had a human-like vocal tract as well as a chimp-like vocal tract. Their voices would have been very deep compared to our own. They would have had an entirely different octave range. So if Barry White had sung in a choir of Neanderthals, he would have been the tenor.”
The gene linked with language capabilities is the FOXP2, which is shared by modern humans and Neanderthals alike.