Trabajos de Prehistoria, Vol 69, No 2 (2012)

¿Es el lenguaje (complejo) el resultado de una transferencia genética entre neandertales y humanos modernos?


https://doi.org/10.3989/tp.2012.12089

Antonio Benítez-Burraco
Dpto. de Filología Española y sus didácticas. Área de Lengua Española. Facultad de Humanidades. Campus de "El Carmen", Universidad de Huelva, España

Resumen


La reciente constatación de ADN neandertal en determinadas poblaciones humanas modernas sugiere un cruce limitado entre ambas especies. Esta transferencia genética pudo haber afectado a las capacidades cognitivas de los neandertales y justificar, en particular, que hubiesen tenido lenguaje moderno. Tal posibilidad se examina a la luz de las propias evidencias genéticas, pero también de las de tipo paleoantropológico y arqueológico utilizadas habitualmente para tratar de inferir la presencia de lenguaje en otras especies de homínidos. En conjunto, dichas evidencias parecen sugerir que el lenguaje complejo habría sido una adquisición exclusiva de los humanos modernos. Ello es compatible, no obstante, con una continuidad evolutiva de los diversos mecanismos biológicos y cognitivos implicados en el procesamiento lingüistico y en último término, con la presencia de algún tipo de lenguaje, computacionalmente más simple, en los neandertales.

Palabras clave


Arqueología; Biolingüística; Cognición; Filogenia; Lenguaje moderno; Neandertales; Paleoantropología; Paleártico occidental; Pleistoceno superior

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