Anthropology and fossil records indicate that H. sapiens neanderthalensis made tools, performed the graphic arts, buried their dead with some sort of ritual, and had a flute capable of (at least) four notes on a diatonic scale Physiology also indicates that they were as capable of an oral language similar to H sapiens sapiens. Evident technology indicated that an oral language was necessary.
Although shorter than H. S. S. their brain was larger (on average) and they were more massively muscled.
I don't know about you, but H.S.N. sound pretty capable of ownership of some form of soulship.
An interesting part of the debate between the niche conflict between H.S.N & H.S.S. about 35,000 years ago is whether H.S.N. died out, or their genes were diluted and absorbed into a larger H.S.S. population.