Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms - Bernard Laks

Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms - Bernard Laks

New perspectives on the origin of languages

Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms - Bernard Laks

Merritt Ruhlen
Stanford University

Description

We don’t often ask ourselves where languages come from because they just seem to be there: French in France, English in England, Chinese in China, Japanese in Japan, and so forth. Yet if we go back only a few thousand years none of these languages were spoken in their respective countries and indeed none of these languages existed anywhere in the world. Where did they all come from? We believe that traces of this first fully-modern language can still be perceived in the world’s contemporary languages and the two examples in Tables 3 and 4 are but a small portion of this evidence. If this hypothesis proves to be correct, then human language may turn out not only to support the ‘Out of Africa’ hypothesis, but to explain it as well.

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Citation

Ruhlen, Merritt. New perspectives on the origin of languages. Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 241 - 256 May 2008. ISBN 9781845535537. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=19034. Date accessed: 26 Sep 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19034. May 2008

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