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Thread: Every Human Language Evolved from 'single Prehistoric African Mother Tongue ?

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    Question Every Human Language Evolved from 'single Prehistoric African Mother Tongue ?

    Every language in the world - from English to Mandarin - evolved from a prehistoric 'mother tongue' first spoken in Africa tens of thousands of years ago, a new study reveals.
    After analysing more than 500 languages, Dr Quentin Atkinson found compelling evidence that they can be traced back to a long-forgotten dialect spoken by our Stone Age ancestors.
    The findings don't just pinpoint the origin of language to Africa - they also show that speech evolved at least 100,000 years ago, far earlier than previously thought
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...en-Africa.html

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    This sounds like a rehash of the old Proto-world theory and i don't necessarily give it a great deal of credence. I feel that just too much time has passed for there to be and non-coincedental traces of this PW left in modern languages.

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    Of course how the n*ggers speak english shows their long use of language skills with so many different sounds. Clearly english comes from n*ggers.

    what do the sounds have to do with the communication of meaning? nothing.

    grammar seems to be the more outstanding part of language which conveys meaning in the most clear way.

    check your dog how many different sounds he can make, if you listen to the different way he barks he can 'say' things through that, does it mean human language come from the dogs barking?


    What that 'scientists' shows as 'proof' is nothing but conjection, it is not even a rational line thought, simply an assumption.

    In the long history of human language it seems the african languages are on the low end.

    western languages have a vast number of words, chinese is knows to put nuances into every word which changes their meaning.

    As I don't have any african genes in me it is clear none of my ancestors has been an n*gger. that language nonsense they give here is simply a trick to make people belief that n*ggers are the oldest race and therefore the root race from which everybody stems, simply by the coincidence (?) that the oldest human (?) remains have been found in Africa. So the place and oldest found are the reasons that n*ggers are the oldest race without proving that.

    most likely is that the root race (if it then existed, which is heavily discussed) was of different stock than you find today.

    My guess is that humans evolved from different pre-human beings (of have been evolved by something else) and that race is a much deeper division between humans than the racemixer would like to have.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    The funny thing is that he tries to show that the n*ggers have been highly evolved (through the high number of sounds they supposedly made) and that white people are just degenerated n*ggers.

    What a joke if you compare them nowadays.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    I'm always intrigued by the attempts to hypothetise on things that cannot truly be hypothetised. Any reconstruction of language is theoretical without the comparison between related languages to a common root (and even then, may be wrong).

    Finding a "universal mother tongue" has been the source of much interest for several thousand years - I can't remember which, but one Greek philosopher thought about locking children into a room to find out what humanity's first word had been. And later, people hypothesise, but all these have to be taken with a grain of salt.

    That there is probably a universal syntax is true, however, this does not ultimately mean that at some point humans gained speech at a singular event. It is well possible that the biological ability for speech existed several hundreds of thousands of years before actual speech existed, parallel development in different parts of the world is thus actually possible.

    If a cultural phenomenon so central as agriculture can have developed independently from each other in at least three different parts of the world, why not another "cultural phenomenon", i.e. speech being developed independently long after the biological potential to gain speech had already been there.

    I'm heavily doubting Dr. Atkinson's findings as being relatively dubious. Finding certain grammatical similarities, or any of the likes doesn't prove anything. It only proves that the genetic ability for speech and indeed a universal grammar was developed together; it doesn't say anything about the development of speech.

    And most certainly, if it's lexical similarities then they may be by chance. Even though Farsi and German are both Indo-European tongues, Farsi huri "young woman" and German Hure "whore" are not semantically connected. Dr. Atkinson's argument reminds me a lot of the "Turanist" bollocks you had rising in the Finnish nationalist scene a while ago for a fad.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    Their language (San - Bushmen) is quite unique in comparison to other languages. It is comprised of a selection of clicks. There are a variety of versions of their language. In total there are five types of click noises, which they use. Overall the click is created by a sucking action of the tongue. However, different positioning alters the click noise by changing the way air is released.

    The sounds are written as "/" (dental), "?" (palatal), "!" (alveolar or retroflex), "//" (lateral) and "" (circle with dot) (bibabial). The sound // is similar to a noise a rider would make when urging his horse to move.

    The sound / is similar to a "tsk tsk" or tutting, when you are expressing sympathy to a person. The ! is the noise that you make with your tongue to imitate a cork popping from a bottle. Lastly ? sounds like a baby sucking with a tongue just behind their teeth.

    What I belief is that that language imitates sound and then gives a meaning to it connected to the sound. It might actually be something prior to words and not words in the sense we would think about it.

    The question I also tried to answer is whether the sounds they make are whole 'words', meaning that their canon of words is as big as the different sounds they make.

    It is said they have about 200 sounds, does that mean they only have 200 words?

    The english language has (as in the Oxford dictionary) about 500,000 words. As it would be most likely impossible to have a different sound for every word we are talking about the different understanding of 'word'.

    Is the reduction of sounds connected to a higher ability for language as for combinations of sounds to words (as we know) have a much higher possibility for combinations and therefore words and differentiation in meaning?

    Is there shown a direct connection between the common (?) stone age language and the different branches of language?

    Must there be ONE mother language or is it possible, given the big differences in languages, that they developed differently in different races and have no common originator?

    The author argues that people originate from Africa and therefore the language they speak is the original language, the prove of it that they have still more sounds then european languages and the degeneration of sounds shows how far away they are from the supposed motherlanguage which has been african.

    1) there are lot of doubts that humanity originates in Africa

    1b) as white people have no negroe genes in them it means the root race was not negroid (if there was something like a root race)

    2) he doesn't show that language originated in Africa, he simply makes the assumption because of 1) and 1b).

    3) He assumes that the language's most important feature is the number of sounds . I think he thinks that language originated in the imitation of sounds as a mental correlation to the meaning of it (like little children would say: Moooooh which then can be associated to 'cow', or they make the sound of an engine to indicate they mean a car etc etc).

    It seems to be an assumption that language evolved like children use to speak. As it hasn't been shown that this is indeed the case we have to take it as a theorem

    4) If one assumes that the highest form was the first than we can see that african language degenerated from it into words which imitate sounds instead of giving them mentally a meaning and it is a mutually agreed meaning, where a group of speakers use the same (combination of) sounds for the same meaning

    5) we don't know how the first white people spoke and how their language was. (and for that matter, we also don't know how the first black people spoke). It might have been a language with more sounds or less than that what he supposedly thinks was the first language.
    As far as I can see he doesn't show any decline from a high number of sounds into a low number of sounds in european languages, or in general how it over time languages got lower in the number of sounds. So it is conjection that the original language had a high number of sounds and then later lost them.

    6) He simply assumes that the high number of sounds indicates an early language. Obviously connected to a deveopement of brain capacity the language developed too.

    As one can train one's dog to learn a high number of commands connected to modern language one might as well assume that people developed a language based on other sounds than on imitation.


    7) He assumed that language is a vocal occurence and doesn't go into gestures, facial expression etc. That means we are missing that part in his study as meaning can as well be expressed through gestures (for example 'that belongs to me' can be expressed by gestures and is understood universally in the world, I could also train my dog to understand that with gestures).

    8) neural pathways in the brain are developed by the demands and the brain activity. The brain itself has way more plasticity then previously understood. this plasicity might have been build around gestures or other non-vocal ways of expression and then simply be used in connection with sounds.

    9) Humans have 3 different brains: the reptilian, the mamal (limibc) brain and the neo-cortex (others may add the front-lobes of the neocortex to a 4th brain). further do we have a right half and a left half of the brain. According to studies right handed people use overwhelmingly the left part of the brain for language (vocal, motion or sign) (for lefthanders it is the opposite). It is only to a very small part in the cortex which is used.

    Bees communicate difficult meanings and matters through their movement commonly called dances. there is no real basis that human were NOT able to do the same without the usually suggested learning curve, which means the imitation of sounds leads to meaning and then to language with syntax. Otherwise one would have to believe that Bees are much smarter than people as they developed that eons before people.

    So as the neo-cortex isn't really necessary for language and animals communicate as well as humans why would humans have to develope a language from scratch? Bees obviously did not do that. (if you think yes please explain how you think Bees learned to communicate complicated things through dance without a mammal brain or the neocortex).

    It seems that brain has not much meaning in the language as it can be switched around in the brain and other beings with much less brain can obviously use a difficult language.

    that suggest that language did not necessarily arose with the developement of humans but is much older. simply the brain adopted and formed itself towards it through making neural pathways. That suggests that language is not a human invention/developement. To what I think the origin is I rather stay silent.

    So that means there may not have been a primitive root language, but only one language with a lot of sounds to which the brain of negroes adapted. Other races may have adapted their brains to a more difficult language.
    weel nich will dieken dej mot wieken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocko View Post
    The question I also tried to answer is whether the sounds they make are whole 'words', meaning that their canon of words is as big as the different sounds they make.
    Language is to make infinite use (words) from finite methods (phonemes). The canon of words is thus always greater than the amount of sounds that can be formed.

    Even a language that only theoretically has 4 phonemes (let's use /a/, /p/, /t/, /k/ for this) could have an invariably great, and ultimately infinite canon of words: pa, ta, ka, tata, papa, kaka, pata, paka, taka, pataka, kataka, takaka, tataka, tatata, patapapapakaka, etc.

    In truth, the minimum amount of phonemes a language has is however eleven (Rotokas), that doesn't make the language much easier, as languages with fewer phonemes often rely on tone, making it actually even more difficult for the learner, as much care has to be given to distinguishing vowel sounds which in one's one language may well be allophones, but mark a difference in semantics in these languages.

    (Tone languages are common even with relatively full phoneme inventory, for instance Chinese has at least four tones: "mom", "hemp", "horse", "scold", ma (an interrogative particle) to give māma mŕ mǎ de má ma? "Is mom scolding the horse's hemp?"; Swedish [and Norwegian] have two tones: cf. anden "the duck" vs. anden "the ghost/spirit")

    It is said they have about 200 sounds, does that mean they only have 200 words?
    There is no language which has 200 sounds that differentiate in meaning, the maximum amount of phonemes is in ǃXóő, another Khoisan language, which has 112 phonemes. Languages can have more phones than phonemes but some could be allophonic due to the lack of a minimal pair.

    I'm still doubting the 112 number, as I find it difficult to believe that some may not actually be of phoneme character and there may be simply several homophonic words, but I'm not one to judge; and since my focus is on the Indo-European languages I would not be so preposterous to assume expertise in an area I've only touched upon very slightly in the course of my studies.

    Must there be ONE mother language or is it possible, given the big differences in languages, that they developed differently in different races and have no common originator?
    This is well possible, as the gene allowing for language may have been a mutation that existed in a common period during some common human ancestor, but that speech and ultimately language evolved independently in several parts of the world from a coding in that gene that only came to bearing when it was necessary for man to adopt speech.

    The reason why man adopted speech is still the source of much debate, we actually have a whole lecture and seminar dedicated to such question this term, and are reading several articles that suggest all types of things, including different theories of origin, and different theories of what necessity triggered the adoption of speech (what is however accepted is that the amount of time spent on verbal, rather than physical grooming of a fellow "pack member" is more efficiently used).
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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