Neanderthals Shared Speech and Language With Modern Humans

What’d he say?  Fred Flintstone had lots to say and so did the comics and other cartoons which attempted to mock the lowly Neanderthal. But that was before we knew; apparently we were the fools, not the Neanderthals. A report picked up by ScienceDaily said that modern language and speech can be traced back to the last common ancestor we shared with the Neanderthals roughly half a million years ago.

Two questions arise.  First, what did we say and, second, are there any remnants of Neanderthal-ic in any modern language today?  ‘Huh? might be one extant word.  More importantly, what did each species have to say to each other? Better yet, what did each species say to their own people at the end of the conversation? Did prejudices arise? Fear? Mistrust? What did each group learn from the other?

In that the ‘common ancestor’ lived a half-million years ago as both species diverged, there was a long separation of the species- ample time to not only produce an insular, parochial vocabulary but also a set of specific knowledge and a unique culture. When did they first meet?  What were the specifics of that first encounter?

For a long time anthropologists suspected that we, homo sapiens, killed off the Neanderthal because it appeared that they came to an abrupt end. Rather, recent evidence suggests that rather than genocide, we and they intermarried and homo sapiens came out the ‘winner.’ Note: this is true of non-Africans only.  How much Neanderthal do you have in your DNA?

The website 23andme will analyze your DNA and tell you your percentage of Neanderthal for $99. Interested?

For me, another question arises: did God/god create Neanderthals separate from and distinct from homo sapiens? If so, did THEY too disobey God/god?  Did Neanderthals eat the ‘forbidden fruit?’ Finally, was he named Adam and she, Eve?  Funny stuff, to be sure.

The next time you let out a grunt, think of your possible cousin, Mr. Neanderthal.



17 thoughts on “Neanderthals Shared Speech and Language With Modern Humans

  1. I’ve always found this fascinating. The University of Toledo had a very impressive anthropology department in the late 60’s into the late 1970’s…Some of the best authorities on Pre Columban American anthropology taught there. I was a fine arts student, but I took 4 quarters of Anthropology…One of my professors was convinced that there were simple genetic markers which physically manifested themselves that indicated our neanderthal genetic heritage. He would demonstrate that he possessed all of them, and I seemed to have the same traits as well. I have been reading about the vestigial physical links that seem to genetically unite the people that live at the top of the world….The Lapps, The Northern Siberians and the Ainu of Japan. They are genetically distinct from the populations that have encroached on their world, but have found that the environment they live in is not easy…they share some very ancient rituals, the bear cult, which is recognized as the first identifiable evidence of religion….the Lapps of Finland, the Siberians and the Ainu of Japan still preserve and practice rituals that seem linked to the same ritual veneration of bears that the Neanderthals observed.
    Can you curl your tongue? Do you have vestigial hairs on the second joint of your ring finger? Not every one can curl their tongues….and that seems to be a neanderthal genetic trait marker. There is more and more evidence being uncovered of cro-magnon and neanderthal coexistence here in Europe. It really looks as if evolutionary principles, brain capacity, ability to adapt to changing climates etc, are the real reason for the demise of the neanderthals. In real time, the so called sudden disappearance of the neanderthals occurred over 15,000 years and it would seem that they haven’t left the stage yet.

  2. It has been fascinating to me too, but it is discipline that I never studied.

    How does blood type fit into the picture. I understand that 0 is the oldest.
    I am type O.

  3. Well Muddy, speaking of Neanderthals;
    They found that Bastard Zimmerman NOT GUILTY on both counts. Well he better not be walking his “Wyatt Earp” delusional ass on his self appointed neighborhood watch because someone is going pop a cap in the back of his head. I am really disappointed with this jury.

    Like the host on the blog radio show that I am invited to speak on occations said, that the area where the trial was held, is the “Land of the Klan.”

    Some can get life for a bag of weed but you get off Scott Free if you kill a black kid walking home from buying something from a convinance store.

    This is Florida Justice!?!??

    1. Engineer asks, “Is this Florida justice?” Why, of course it is. Talk to me about the ethnicity and political leaning of the Florida State Legislature. Why were these laws put on the books?

      Of course we know why. Something about ‘those people.’

  4. I’m going to post a foresnic piece on why the jury could have honestly come to this verdict on the Zimmerman case. It’s not their fault, they were trying to follow the letter of the law and it’s not over until it is over! Again, this is learning process for us. Zimmerman must be retried on Civil Rights Charges, which will lead to reopening the facts of the case. America had a problem, now it has a much bigger problem!

  5. Hello Microdot,
    My laptop died and I have to use my smart phone to post. Sometimes I have trouble commenting on your site but I want to let you know I read your blog everyday.

    To everyone, Common Sense HSS shown up on a History / Political Science Professor site, the progressive professor blog.

    You may want to drop by and help him out. There was one lying nut job who goes by Juan, probably ran across Common Sense and invited him to attack the Professor. He could use your help.

  6. Thanks, Engineer. Those comments by ‘common sense’ remind me of the right-wing blogger of the same moniker with whom I have debated on several occasions. He and the professor stand at opposite ends of the political spectrum and there is no hope for resolution between them.

  7. Hello Muddy,
    Thanks for helping out Professor Ron. Yes that is the one & same Common (non) Sense you commented on. The person Juan, his whole thing is to make himself as big an asshole as he can and he has drafted Common to now help. I guess they met on some blowhard blog site.

    Like I say, stop by and help Ron out when you can. He is having his son look into how to block Juan from posting and Common too before the two of them really get out of hand.


    1. Engineer, You know I love you, but you are wrong on a few levels.
      I read the thread you linked. I read no hostility by Common Sense or Juan. They just presented different view points that you guys had. Is that what we have become in this country? This Ron dude is going to censor them because they have different views? That really isn’t cool. What’s wrong with expressing a different viewpoint and then debating? I don’t know the history with those guys and that blog, but that’s the way I saw it. Are we going to start censoring different view points or opinions? That doesn’t seem right to me, and I wouldn’t expect you to go along with it.

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