Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by Disqus
Of Interest:

Could it be? Naaah...

Some news in the unusually dusty and arcane field of historical linguistics today, as an article in Science Magazine posits evidence of a single origin point for all of human language, as well as a time frame. Without getting into the academic and political considerations, this is a controversial position to take. However, from what we’ve read about the article, we’re skeptical.

Aside from the obvious impossibility of proving anything about spoken communications that may have occurred tens of thousands of years before anything like a record of a language exists, we note that the crux of the argument relies on an [admittedly clever] count of phonemic inventories - allowable sounds in a given language - across a geographic swath ranging from Southwest Africa to the Pacific Island, it apparently only looks at a sample size of 500 languages. As linguists generally place the number of living languages across the globe at somewhere between five and seven thousand, we see red flags at the conclusions being drawn from the size of the sample...

We’d love to hear the arguments, and welcome more technical questions form the readership. We’ll be following this one pretty closely...
blog comments powered by Disqus