ECU Libraries Catalog

Neanderthal language : demystifying the linguistic powers of our extinct cousins / Rudolf Botha.

Author/creator Botha, Rudolf P. author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2020.
Descriptionxii, 209 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents Part I . Preliminaries: 1. Pursuing an intriguing but murky matter -- 2. Telltale Neanderthal teeth -- Part II. Symbolic behaviours : 3. Making and wearing personal ornaments -- 4. Producing cave art -- 5. Beautifying bodies -- 6. Burying the dead -- 7. Leaping to language -- Part III. Non-symbolic behaviours: 8. Making stone tools -- 9. Teaching stone-tool making -- 10. Hunting big game -- Part IV. Implications: 11. Dispersing the murk -- Notes -- References -- Index.
Abstract "The questions "Did Neanderthals have language?" and "If they did, what was it like?" have intrigued scholars and laypersons for about a century and a half. Yet there are no answers to these questions that are not controversial, making the existence and nature of Neanderthal language a murky matter. This book attempts to disperse the murk by critically analysing important inferences that have been drawn by prehistorians and other scientists about Neanderthal language from a range of Neanderthal behaviours. These include four allegedly symbolic behavious: making and wearing personal ornaments, creating cave art, decorating bodies and burying the dead. And three non-symbolic behaviours: making stone tools, teaching stone-tool making, and cooperatively hunting big game. The book finds strong grounds for doubting the soundness of all the analysed inferences. It identifies Neanderthals' cooperative hunting as being currently the best behavioural window on their linguistic powers. Also better than what is known about their genes and brains. Viewed through the hunting window, Neanderthal language employed linguistic signs resembling those of modern human language, but lacked complex grammar"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
Issued in other formOnline version: Botha, Rudolf P. Neanderthal language New York : Cambridge University Press, 2020. 9781108868167
LCCN 2019060038
ISBN9781108491327 hardback
ISBN1108491324 hardback
ISBN9781108811842 paperback
ISBN1108811841 paperback

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks GN285 .B68 2020 ✔ Available Place Hold