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Silly Linguistics Magazine Preview – Issue 39

My husband and I walked into a busy gas station last weekend. Long queue ensured, he got in line to save us a spot and I scoured the station for drinks and snacks. I had to ask him what he wanted, but since he was in line and I was at the other side of the station holding the refrigerator door open, there was no way to even mouth my question since we were wearing masks, and all the noise ensured he wouldn’t hear me even if I yelled.

So I mimed this elaborate routine until he finally understood me, mimed back and I got what he needed. This whole interpretative gas station dancing really got me thinking — were humans always able to speak? At what point in evolution did we stop ooga-booga-ing, and actually started to communicate? Were Neanderthals capable of verbal communication?

You can read the follow article in our magazine Silly Linguistics and get access to all previous issues at no extra charge

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