The human family got a new branch this week with the appearance of Homo naledi, a new species of human.

But did they have language? And how can we tell from a lot of old bones?

It’s early yet, but linguist Daniel Midgley puts the pieces together on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Jane Hebiton


Show notes

A New Hampshire university’s language guide says students should avoid using the word ‘American’
http://www.businessinsider.com/r-new-hampshire-universitys-language-guide-launches-war-of-words-2015-7?IR=T

University president offended by bias-free language guide
http://college.usatoday.com/2015/07/30/university-president-offended-by-bias-free-language-guide/

Lawmakers May Punish A University For Being Too Politically Correct
http://dailycaller.com/2015/09/04/lawmakers-may-punish-a-university-for-being-too-politically-correct/

Jonathan Turley: University of Tennessee Considers Adopting Gender Neutral Pronouns Like “Ze,” “Hir,” and “Xyr” To Avoid Discrimination
http://jonathanturley.org/2015/08/28/university-of-tennessee-considers-adopting-gender-neutral-pronouns-like-ze-hir-and-xyr-to-avoid-discrimination/

Dennis Baron: The gender-neutral pronoun: after 150 years still an epic fail
https://illinois.edu/blog/view/25/31097

Some notes on singular ‘they’
https://illinois.edu/blog/view/25

Are gender-neutral pronouns the wave of the future?
http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2015/are-gender-neutral-pronouns-the-wave-of-the-future/

Gender-neutral pronouns: The big list
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender-specific_and_gender-neutral_pronouns#Preferred_pronouns

Study: Sperm whales speak in ‘clan dialects’
http://www.treehugger.com/animals/study-sperm-whales-speak-local-dialects.html

Sperm Whales’ Language Reveals Hints of Culture
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150908-sperm-whale-culture-vocalizations-animals-oceans-galapagos-science/

Science says sperm whales live in clans and learn a ‘language’
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/science-says-sperm-whales-live-in-clans-and-learn-a-language-2015-9

Homo naledi: Unanswered questions about the newest human species
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn28152-homo-naledi-unanswered-questions-about-the-newest-human-species/

Homo naledi: New species of human ancestor discovered in South Africa
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/10/africa/homo-naledi-human-relative-species/index.html

New species of human relative, Homo naledi, found in underground graveyard in Cradle of Humankind in South Africa
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-10/new-species-of-human-relative-found-in-underground-graveyard/6765466

This Face Changes the Human Story. But How?
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150910-human-evolution-change/

New, Tiny-Brained Human Found in South African Cave
http://news.discovery.com/human/evolution/new-tiny-brained-human-found-in-south-african-cave-150910.htm

Burial, as early as 300,000 years ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_religion

Oxford Dictionaries Online: The quarterly update
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/08/new-words-update-manspreading-mic-drop/

Online Etymology Dictionary: Spill
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=spill

Online Etymology Dictionary: Oust
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=oust

Tony Abbott #PutYourOnionsOut: How the internet reacted
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-34244573

#putoutyouronions on Twitter
https://twitter.com/search?q=%23putoutyouronions&src=typd

White-anting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_anting

Vale Adrian Frutiger, master of the Univers
http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/master-of-the-univers_swiss-font-legend-adrian-frutiger-dies/41659284


Show tunes

Find the tracks we play on the RTRFM webpage for this episode.

Image credit: http://ngs-remote-video-import.s3.amazonaws.com/NG_Video/0000014f-b66e-deef-a9ef-b66e2cbe0000-new-human-ancestor-discovered-homo-naledi-exclusive-video.jpg