Skip to comments.The Mother of All Languages. Modern languages may have all descended from a single ancestral tongue
Posted on 04/15/2011 2:30:50 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
The world's 6,000 or so modern languages may have all descended from a single ancestral tongue spoken by early African humans between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago, a new study suggests.
The finding, published Thursday in the journal Science, could help explain how the first spoken language emerged, spread and contributed to the evolutionary success of the human species.
Quentin Atkinson, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and author of the study, found that the first migrating populations leaving Africa laid the groundwork for all the world's cultures by taking their single language with themthe mother of all mother tongues.
"It was the catalyst that spurred the human expansion that we all are a product of," Dr. Atkinson said.
About 50,000 years agothe exact timeline is debatedthere was a sudden and marked shift in how modern humans behaved. They began to create cave art and bone artifacts and developed far more sophisticated hunting tools. Many experts argue that this unusual spurt in creative activity was likely caused by a key innovation: complex language, which enabled abstract thought. The work done by Dr. Atkinson supports this notion.
His research is based on phonemes, distinct units of sound such as vowels, consonants and tones, and an idea borrowed from population genetics known as "the founder effect." That principle holds that when a very small number of individuals break off from a larger population, there is a gradual loss of genetic variation and complexity in the breakaway group.
Dr. Atkinson figured that if a similar founder effect could be discerned in phonemes, it would support the idea that modern verbal communication originated on that continent and only then expanded elsewhere.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Tower of Babel.
All of a sudden because they could talk about it...longer arrows came to be?? or sharper arrows came to be??
Just love these folks...They can say anything they want....AND GET MORE GRANT MONEY!!!!
That is funny.. When I was in college taking an anthropology class, the professor said no way lanquages developed from a single language..
There are some who also believe that in Eternity, the Redeemed will all speak Hebrew, i.e., God’s language. FWIW
Next thing, CNN—ABC—NBC—CBS all will be telling us that Barry’s ancestors werethe start of ‘language’.
Well, hell. Can't we go to LATVIA and ask?
They still have not “proven” that man came from the African continent, just pure conjecture. Remember “Lucy”? These so called experts, as one freeper pointed out need more grant money so they come up with the latest whack-a-doo theory and further their career by a few more years. I choose to believe in the Word of God and not some whatever professor in line for some tribute or money.
When the government asks me my race, I say “African American”, because after all, it is only a matter of when my ancestors left Africa.
Nah... everyone knows algore invented language.
We are all Egyptians.
More Pan-Africanism here I see.
What a life to live. I’m tempted to go along and then start suggesting my own insane ideas and get myself some grant money.