There are some documentaries, e.g. by David Attenborough, that dramatize the life of proto-humans (e.g. Neanderthals, etc..)

Some of these documentaries show/dramatize the proto-humans communicating in a proto-language.

The question is if this proto-language (as used in the dramatization) has any basis in research on what this proto-language could have been or sounded like, or is it just acting for the purposes of adding realism to the dramatization?

Potential options I can think of:

  1. Indeed there has been research on proto-forms of human language and these results have been used in the documentaries

  2. There has been research on the proto-forms of language but these have not been used as basis for the documentaries

  3. No results are known on proto-forms of human language (and in extension none of these could have been used in documentaries)

  4. Research has been done but no results are provided that can be used (eg in documentaries).

  5. There are plausible speculations about forms of proto-language but not research results

  6. ??

  • 3
    Can you name a specific example of such a documentary? The answer might be different for different sources.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 18:15
  • 1
    Yes sure, i am referring to Attenborough's documentary. There have been some years since i viewed it on tv, so i dont remember the name exactly (the reason i provided the wikipedia link which has a list of Attenborough's documentaries). Searching again to find the name of the documentary i am referring. Will update
    – Nikos M.
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 18:21
  • Unfortunately i cant seem to find the documentary i am referring (maybe someone knows the exact name). i distinctly remember it was part of Attenborough's documentaries (David Attenborough himself appears) and there was a discussion at some point of how Neanderthals had large nostrils to cope for running and heat balance in the body, intersperced were dramatized events of Neanderthals' life (i distinctly remember showing a group of proto-humans communicating). Hope this helps
    – Nikos M.
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 19:12
  • Attenborough has narrated over 150 documentaries, which makes this a bit vague. Anyone?
    – Oddthinking
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 4:04
  • if protohumans ever existed, it was before film: anything we can say about them would be conjecture :)
    – warren
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 19:35


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .