Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Neanderthals speak

More or less: a synthesized, simulated Neanderthal vocal tract has now produced the sound of a Neanderthal saying "E." New Scientist has the scoop.

I fondly remember interviewing cognitive linguist Phil Lieberman, who is involved with the research mentioned above, for two hours on November 4, 1999, at his office at Brown University to discuss Neanderthal speech, as I was beginning work on Hominids.

(Neanderthal difficulty in pronouncing the long-E phoneme figures in Hominids and its sequels, and is why Ponter, the Neanderthal, always calls Mary Vaughan "Mare.")

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


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