Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

April 17, 2008

Pass me that ix

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media

Scientists have worked out how they think Neanderthals would have spoken more than 30,000 years ago.

Apparently they would have sounded like New Zealanders, according to one report "Did Neanderthals speak like New Zealanders?"(Thursday 17 April 2008).

The Kiwi website stuff.co.nz makes the tongue-in-cheek claim based on a report in New Scientist, "Neanderthals speak out after 30,000 years" (Tuesday 15 April 2008).

The original report, which includes audio, says scientists in the US believe Neanderthals lacked the "quantal vowel" sounds that underlie modern speech.

By that they mean the ability to tell the difference between "beat" and "bit".

And there you have the clipped vowels of your typical Kiwi.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.