All Language Began in Africa, probably

Research by Quentin D. Atkinson, a New Zealand biologist, has concluded that human language began in Southern Africa, and all existing languages have developed from it.  His theory is based on analysis of the phonemes of languages along the route of emigration from Africa.  Phonemes are the sounds of a language, from the guttural French “r” to the single tap of the Hindi “t.”  The distinctive phoneme of American English is perhaps the softly garbled “r” which so many speakers of other languages find it to hard to replicate.  Here is the gist of the Africa, and the link is below:

“Some of the click-using languages of Africa have more than 100 phonemes [sounds], whereas Hawaiian, toward the far end of the human migration route out of Africa, has only 13. English has 45 phonemes.”

The important point to take from this research seems to be that all languages are related in an organized fashion.  Let the studies begin!

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/science/15language.html?hp

 

 


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