Skip to comments.Out of Africa? Data fail to support language origin in Africa
Posted on 02/20/2012 8:24:25 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Last year, a report claiming to support the idea that the origin of language can be traced to West Africa appeared in Science. The article caused quite a stir. Now linguist Michael Cysouw from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich has challenged its conclusions, in a commentary just published in Science...
Atkinson based his claim on a comparative analysis of the numbers of phonemes found in about 500 present-day languages. Phonemes are the most basic sound units -- consonants, vowels and tones -- that form the basis of semantic differentiation in all languages. The number of phonemes used in natural languages varies widely. Atkinson, who is a biologist and psychologist by training, found that the highest levels of phoneme diversity occurred in languages spoken in southwestern Africa. Furthermore, according to his statistical analysis, the size of the phoneme inventory in a language tends to decrease with distance from this hotspot. To interpret this finding Atkinson invoked a parallel from population genetics. Biologists have observed an analogous effect, insofar as human genetic diversity is found to decrease with distance from Africa, where our species originated. This is attributed to the so-called founder effect. As people migrated from the continent and small groups continued to disperse, each inevitably came to represent an ever-shrinking fraction of the total genetic diversity present in the African population as a whole.
(Excerpt) Read more at physorg.com ...
In Click Languages, an Echo of the Tongues of the AncientsIf so, the modern humans who left Africa some 40,000 years ago and populated the rest of the world might have been click speakers who later lost their clicks. Australia, where the Damin click language used to be spoken, is one of the first places outside Africa known to have been reached by modern humans. But the antiquity of clicks, if they are indeed extremely ancient, raises a serious puzzle. Joseph Greenberg of Stanford University, the great classifier of the world's languages, put all the click languages in a group he called Khoisan. But Sandawe and Hadzane, the language of the Hadzabe, are what linguists call isolates. They are unlike each other and every other known language. Apart from their clicks, they have very little in common even with the other Khoisan languages.
by Nicholas Wade
March 18, 2003
please, this is so tiring, all this afro-centric crap....itz as bad as mr checov on star trek, who used to claim anything that was of any value, was done by russia first....
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
Here is a continent whose contribution to civilization other than famine, war, starvation and serving as a black hole for tax dollars is zilch. So liberals invent redeeming qualities like ‘humans in originated in Africa.. language originated Africa..’etc to cover up their guilt. What are they going to credit them with next ?
Forgot to add disease.
Our species originated there. in Africa.
afro-centric has always been crap; this piece of the language links is just another piece of the picture. There are four traditional racial types and it has never made sense that one genotype marched out of africa and morphed into three other types over what is in evolutionary time a few weeks. Australoids are distinct from Mongoloids,distinct from Negroids, distinct from Caucasoids. All are human but what triggered the many from one type?
AND the mushlims were first.
This is an interesting technique - to consider the frequency of word forms in spoken language.
Considering rap music, for example,
If you discount that famous 12 letter word m*****-f***** and variations on the word f***, most rap songs would last only about 5 seconds!
Exactly. I've never bought into the politically correct "out of Africa" Lysenkoism. The human origin ball of twine is very far from unwound. There are huge areas of the globe (Asia mainly) that are virtually unexamined from an anthropological point of view. But publicity-seeking "scientists" are quick to claim they have the "final answer."
Sounds like a darned good argument for Humans to have originated there: where else would everybody with half a brain want to emigrate to someplace, ANY PLACE, else from?
*Forgot to add disease.
For no good reason, I will posit Lake Baikal, in Siberia, as the Home of Mankind.
Thanks! It's refreshing to find someone who is unafraid of stating the obvious in this politically correct world.
And all the road signs were in foreign languages anyhow.
When are you going to pose for your close-up?
Instinctively, that argument against makes sense; and it is satisfying emotionally.
OTOH, in a hugely shorter time span, we've demonstrably gone from
There wasn’t an event that triggered the evolution of humans Into the four main groups (and countless minor groups). Genetic drift over time, with geographic separation between the groups, actually explains the diversity pretty well.
its near the Vitim Bridge. next to the GX650 fossil.
Also, recall that recent findings have shown that non-African homo sapiens interbred with homo neandertalis. That interbreeding would have added a LOT of genetic differences, especially at the low population numbers of the time. On top of that, you have genetic drift and radically different climates.
Me, I’m for language arising in either the Indus region or Mesopotamia. Both were early cradles of civilization, and the agrarian lifestyle would have required a broader vocabulary than a hunting lifestyle.
Sounds like a winner. You’ll probably get a nice puff piece in National Geographic.
Whoops! I momentarily forgot NatGeo has been the foremost proponent of “out of Africa” (other than Isak Dinesen, Robert Redford and Meryl Streep). But I’m sure it’s good for a Discover cover at least. Hard cheese about your pre-Clovis work! Global Warming trumps all at NatGeo.
Which species are you talking about? Homo sapiens, or one of the many extinct apes that they’ve dug up over there?
Yes, they haven’t been looking as hard in Asia (and some other places) as they have in Africa, so it’s hardly surprising they keep finding things in Africa. Even so, they’ve found homo sapiens fossils in East Asia that they date to just about as old as the oldest they’ve found in Africa. Of course, that doesn’t fit their model, so they put an asterisk on it and never talk about it.
That comparison offers us nothing of real value. Man is supposed to have differentiated through the blind agent of natural selection, while domesticated animals have been differentiated purposefully by man.
There’s a better argument to be made, from looking at the vast morphological differences we’ve bred into dogs and similar animals. If evolutionists were to dig up fossils of domestic dogs a million years from now, they would classify them into a multitude of separate species, based soley on superficial differences in morphology, but of course we know they are all the same species and this variation is entirely the result of a short period of selective breeding. That is evidence that weighs against the standard methodology of that evolutionary biologists have been practicing to support their “science”.
That is a very good description of why there may be so many misconceptions regarding mankind’s evolution!
What are they going to credit them with next ?
Africa was Portugal’s largest customer for firearms, and largest sourse of human labor in the 17-18 Centuries.
Our species originated there. in Africa.
That is the theory, anyway. Proof is proving somewhat elusive ... as is the descent from a common ancestor.
There is also a better than even chance that human origin may have been in the huge areas which were above water prior to the end of the Ice Age, but which are now hundreds of feet below sea level.
There wasnt an event that triggered the evolution of humans
Let’s not count the eruption of Mt. Toba in 72,000 BC, which decimated the human population at the time ...
I should have been more specific. There wasn’t a single event that triggered human evolution, since that would imply that human evolution was static until and when such an event occurred. The processes of evolution are ongoing. An event such as an eruption that wipes out a large population, leaving pockets of survivors here and there, would not change the overall pace of evolution. Rather, the different pockets of survivors would each evolve in their own direction, rather than in the direction of the larger group.
Egypt, Carthage, the “bread basket” of the Roman Empire... of course, the out of Africa theory claims humans come from subSaharan Africa, which in fact has contributed nothing to the world, but the entire continent hasn’t been worthless.
in the evolutionary viewpoint, it originated in africa, but with me being a YEC, i dont fall for that humanist religion line of thought....
Such a drastic loss from the gene pool would drastically alter any “pace” or direction of evolution, if there is such a thing.
One cannot postulate that a putative evolution of the human species was either static or dynamic prior to the super volcanic eruption of Toba, since there is no found surviving evidence either way.
Further, for the survivors of Toba to be able to generate successful descendants, they would have had to be a single group, else there would have been too few for a successful gene pool - and we would not exist.
No one today has any experience with super volcanic eruptions and the survival of the human species. All scenarios from a Yellowstone eruption would be pretty much a ELE for modern humans, despite our technology or maybe because of it.
Prior to Toba there were many drastic events, which could have done all sorts of things to our species. Our present human species could have been around since 250,000 BC.
There is even some uncertainty as to what exactly did the solar system look like millions of years ago, and the Earth's place in it.
I don't think that is such a radical idea. There's and Indian Archaeologist who thinks it is in Gansu Province, China.
These 1.8 million year old guys found in, Dmanisi, Georgia are creating problems for the 'out of Africa' folks. They had the most advanced tools in the world at the time.
Image: JOHN GURCHE PORTRAIT OF A PIONEER With a brain half the size of a modern one and a brow reminiscent of Homo habilis, this hominid is one of the most primitive members of our genus on record. Paleoartist John Gurche reconstructed this 1.75-million-year-old explorer from a nearly complete teenage H. erectus skull and associated mandible found in Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia. The background figures derive from two partial crania recovered at the site.
King James Version (KJV)
9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth
ALL languages originated in what is now Iraq.
This could erupt into a robust sub-thread. :’)
The Neandertal EnigmaFrayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]
by James Shreeve
in local libraries
The agglutinative languages are for the most part in Asia, but the inflective Indo-European family (which is a substantial fraction of the living human language speakers) also has its earliest discernable roots in Central Asia. The African click languages have their earliest discernable roots in Central Africa, but are today for the most part found in southern Africa. The Americas have a massively diverse pile of PreColumbian languages south of Panama, some more large families in southern Canada, the US, and Mexico (along with some of Central America) and just two groups (both of which are fairly homogeneous) in Alaska and Arctic Canada, showing that the settlement of the Americas has probably happened again and again over a very long time.
I’m waiting for someone else to come along and point out that, for most of the last two million years, our ancestors were living on the now-submerged continental shelves, below what is now sealevel, where there was ample food, and the climate was much better than in the hinterlands.
The Scars of Evolution:"The most remarkable aspect of Todaro's discovery emerged when he examined Homo Sapiens for the 'baboon marker'. It was not there... Todaro drew one firm conclusion. 'The ancestors of man did not develop in a geographical area where they would have been in contact with the baboon. I would argue that the data we are presenting imply a non-African origin of man millions of years ago.'"
What Our Bodies Tell Us
About Human Origins
by Elaine Morgan
Caucasians and Mongoloids live in the same latitude. Supposedly environment is the cause of evolutionary drift. Cold is supposed to lead to prominent (European) noses. Why don't the Asians have prominent noses. It snows there too. Their noses are more like African noses, the noses of a hot climate. Another problem I have with genetic (evolutionary) drift is pigmentation. Asians are darker than whites, yet they get about the same amount of sunlight, the supposed cause of melanin which colors the skin. Somehow I think the evolutionary process, genetic drift, and an out of Africa theory needs more work.
The drift between the major races is great. The apparent time span is equally great. The idea that the races were isolated for such a long time troubles me. I would expect that the nomadic life of early man would have led to greater intermingling among the races, especially in Eurasia, and a more blended result.
This could erupt into a robust sub-thread. :)
Hope it wasn’t something I said ... :)
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