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
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