Neanderthal language? Just-so stories take center stage
Author(s)Berwick, Robert C.; Hauser, Marc D.; Tattersall, Ian
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Dediu and Levinson (2013) link two extraordinary claims: first, humans and Neanderthals were one and the same species and second, “Speech and language … are ancient, being present in a modern-like form over half a million years ago in the common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans, the result of evolution in the prior one million years or so as H. heidelbergensis evolved from H. erectus” (p. 12). These claims are marred by their selective review of the literature; the use of equivocal evidence as definitive support for their interpretation; and the lack of any evolutionary evidence regarding the computations and representations that mediate modern linguistic competence.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems
Frontiers in Psychology
Frontiers Research Foundation
Berwick, Robert C., Marc D. Hauser, and Ian Tattersall. “Neanderthal language? Just-so stories take center stage.” Frontiers in Psychology 4 (2013).
Final published version