Hypoglossal Canal Size in Living Hominoids and the Evolution of Human Speech

  title={Hypoglossal Canal Size in Living Hominoids and the Evolution of Human Speech},
  author={William L. Jungers and Amy Pokempner and Richard F. Kay and Matt Cartmill},
  journal={Human Biology},
  pages={473 - 484}
The relative size of the hypoglossal canal has been proposed as a useful diagnostic tool for the identification of human-like speech capabilities in the hominid fossil record. Relatively large hypoglossal canals (standardized to oral cavity size) were observed in humans and assumed to correspond to relatively large hypoglossal nerves, the cranial nerve that controls motor function of the tongue. It was suggested that the human pattern of tongue motor innervation and associated speech potential… 

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