It was a generally thought that Neanderthals simply just grunted to one another in order to communicate. New research suggests it could really be that they were in fact the creators of a language that is similar to what we speak today.
Despite popular opinion Neanderthals, like modern humans, were communicating among themselves using tonal languages. This is backed up by Dutch research which claims that the origins of modern language are actually ten times older than thought and could date back to half a million years ago! It is also believed that modern speech and language first emerged 600,000 years ago in Homo heidelbergensis, which is now an extinct species that lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia.
Psycholinguistics researchers Dan Dediu and Stephen C. Levinson, said that Neanderthals were far from being slow, and their cognitive capacities and culture were comparable to ours – something we’re sure Charles Darwin would definitely back up. By looking at past findings in detail, the Dutch researchers argue that modern language and speech are essentially ancient feature of our ancestry dating back at least to the most recent ancestor we shared with the Neanderthals.
“Modern humans and Neanderthals are very similar genetically, and there are indications of interbreeding as well, strengthening this similarity,”  which also suggests that the language development could have most certainly developed from centuries ago. Neanderthal genes also suggest that the stocky yet brainy individuals possessed tonal languages, since there is an association between tone and two of their genes involved in brain growth and development.
In addition to outlining the DNA evidence, Dediu and his colleague Stephen Levinson found further evidence that Neanderthals possessed a humanlike hyoid bone, which is involved in speech production. The ear bone structure in Neanderthal’s also appeared to have evolved for hearing speech in addition to other sounds, just as humans have – all evidence that supports the theory that language was first exercised between Neanderthals.
If this research is in fact true just remember when you’re tired on a Monday morning after an eventful weekend and you’re moaning and almost grunting because you’re tired, take a moment to remember that you could be in fact speaking a somewhat similar language to your ancestors from over 600,000 years ago – bizarre.