Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Scientists recreate possible sounds made by Neanderthals

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PARIS (AFP) - After a nearly 30,000-year silence, Neanderthals are speaking once more, thanks to researchers who have modelled the hominids' larynx to replicate the possible sounds they would have made, New Scientist says.

The work, led by Robert McCarthy, an anthropologist at Florida Atlantic University at Boca Raton, is based on Neanderthal fossils found in France, the British journal said on its website on Wednesday.

The item includes an audio snippet in which a computer synthesiser replicates how a Neanderthal would say an "e" and compares this with the same sound as made by modern humans.

A study published last October in the journal Current Biology found that Neanderthals carried the only human gene that has so far been linked to language.

This implies Neanderthals had at least some of the genetic prerequisites for acquiring language.


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