On 11/01/2013 16:31, Jörg Rhiemeier wrote:
> Hallo conlangers!
> On Friday 11 January 2013 14:40:46 R A Brown wrote:
>> Certainly having lexemes without syntax is not human
>> language.
> Certainly not!  This is what I call a "linear" language:
>  a communication system where lexemes are just uttered
> in a random order to express an idea.

But if the order is truly random, how is the hearer to know
how the lexemes relate to one another?  Surely ambiguity
would make all but the very basic utterances impossible.
Can one indeed have _language_ without syntax?

>> There was a time in my past life when I held that H.N.
>> did not have language (indeed, I think I stated this
>> in my M.Litt. thesis of 1982.  But this was based on
>> incorrect information about Neanderthal anatomy and
>> very faulty (i.e. almost non-existent) understanding of
>> Neanderthal society.  As I've come to know more about
>> N.H. I've radically changed my opinion, and ...
> He apparently at least was capable of producing a
> similar range of speech sounds as we are; whether his
> syntactical abilities were up to ours is anyone's guess.

It seems Neanderthals had the vocal equipment for producing
much the same range of sounds that we modern humans can.
Their brains were certainly large enough also.

There's an interesting article here:

> On Friday 11 January 2013 15:05:33 Patrick Dunn wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 7:40 AM, R A Brown wrote:
>> [...]

>>> I seem to recall that this topic has been debated on
>>> this list more than one before.  We obviously have a
>>> fascination for Neanderthals   ;)
>> Sure we do!  They're a conlanger's dream.  Human-like
>> (or human, if you like) and capable of thought,
>> society, language -- all that stuff we like to play
>> with as conlangers.
> Exactly!  And so many gaps in our knowledge that ask for
> filling them in creatively.


There ant no place like Sussex,
Until ye goos above,
For Sussex will be Sussex,
And Sussex won't be druv!
[W. Victor Cook]