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evolution of language

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Numbers are a cognitive technology

Studies of a language without many words for numbers help to illustrate the way that language guides human thinking.

Dominoes with colorful dots
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The Kebara 2 hyoid speaks for itself, but is it a Neandertal?

An analysis of the internal bone distribution of the Kebara 2 hyoid bone shows a pattern of forces similar to speakers of modern languages.

Four panels with different exterior and cross-section views of the Kebara 2 hyoid bone
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The FoxP2 protein sequence from Neandertals and Denisovans is shared by many people today

A study of sequence variation shows a possible selected change among living people, but many still have a form shared with Neandertals and Denisovans.

A protein structure model
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Did human language evolve as a spandrel?

A critical look at the point of view that human language did not originate from its adaptive role in communication, but from other cognitive functions.

Early twentieth-century ceramic head with brain and labels.