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RE: Speech



On the subject of speech...
It seems to me that, even if one measures the relevant sizes of skull
and ear bones and finds that they allow whatever early hominid to hear
at the range of modern human speech (or not), doesn't say all that much
about whether or not those beings actually spoke.  Humans (apparently:
see this page: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996053 )
Hear clearly at a range of 2-4 kHz, as opposed to chimps, which hear
well at 1 or 8kHz, but not well in between.  As humans code most verbal
information in the 2-4 range, chimps, aside from any neurological
problems, can't hear what we are saying.  
The fact of hearing range, alone, however, doesn't say anything about
the ability to speak.  Humans code our verbal information in the 2-4 kHz
range because that is the range our ears are tuned to.  What matters is
that we have the neural and vocal equipment to code and decode sounds,
the ability to hear those sounds in the first place is beside the point.

So how can we tell whether or not H. florensiensis spoke?  

Dan