Mother tongue comes from your (prehistoric) father, or does it?

Sep 22, 2011 by

According to a recent study, conducted by Peter Forster and Colin Renfrew of the University of Cambridge and discussed in Science Daily, “language change among our prehistoric ancestors came about via the arrival of immigrant...

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On the Austronesian Homeland

May 30, 2011 by

In response to my posting on the Japanese homeland and the connection between Japanese and Austronesian languages, Kalvin Vasques expressed some doubts about the Out-of-Taiwan theory of Austronesian homeland. The key to the...

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Modern Hebrew: old or new? (Part 4: Conclusion)

May 23, 2011 by

In a recent series of postings, I have considered the question of whether Modern Hebrew is a modified, modernized version of the “old”, Biblical Hebrew, or a newly constructed language based more on such Indo-European...

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Where was human language born?

Apr 15, 2011 by

Anthropologists and geneticists alike believe that modern humans originated in Africa. But what about human language? Did it originate in Africa too? Was it “born” only once? And can we be more precise about where in...

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Languages and genes don’t always match — part 2

Feb 5, 2011 by

In the previous posting, I noted that the commonly held assumption that if the languages of two groups are related, the peoples must be related as well doesn’t always hold. As you can see from the chart below, the genetic tree...

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