“There was always this idea,” says Greg Hickok, a cognitive-science professor at the University of California at Irvine who was not involved in the study, “that there was one thing that had to happen and that released the linguistic abilities.” … Hickok said that when he was being trained in linguistics, “this was an established, almost dogmatic idea.” The new study is a dramatic reversal of the status quo, he said: “The phrase that came to mind when I finished it was mic drop.”

For the full story, please visit https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/12/when-did-ancient-humans-start-speak/603484/.

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