World’s languages traced back to single African mother tongue: scientists.
New Zealand researchers have traced every human language — from English to Mandarin — back to an ancestral language spoken in Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.
Scientists say they have traced the world’s 6,000 modern languages — from English to Mandarin — back to a single “mother tongue,” an ancestral language spoken in Africa 50,000 to 70,000 years ago.
New research, published in the journal Science, suggests this single ancient language resulted in human civilization — a Diaspora — as well as advances in art and hunting tool technology, and laid the groundwork for all the world’s cultures.
The research, by Quentin Atkinson from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, also found that speech evolved far earlier than previously thought. And the findings implied, though did not prove, that modern language originated only once, an issue of controversy among linguists, according to the New York Times.
Before Atkinson came up with the evidence for a single African origin of language, some scientists had argued that language evolved independently in different parts of the world.
Atkinson found that the first populations migrating from Africa laid the groundwork for all the world’s cultures by taking their single language with them. “It was the catalyst that spurred the human expansion that we all are a product of,” Atkinson said, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Atkinson traced the number distinct sounds, or phonemes — consonants, vowels and tones — in 504 world languages, finding compelling evidence that they can be traced back to a long-forgotten dialect spoken by our Stone Age ancestors, according to the Daily Mail.
Atkinson also hypothesized that languages with the most sounds would be the oldest, while those spoken by smaller breakaway groups would utilize fewer sounds as variation and complexity diminished.
The study found that some of the click-using languages of Africa have more than 100 phonemes, or sounds, whereas Hawaiian, toward the far end of the human migration route out of Africa, has only 13, the Times reported. English has about 45 phonemes.
The phoneme pattern mirrors the pattern of human genetic diversity as humans spread across the globe from sub-Saharan Africa around 70,000 years ago.
I apologize as this comes off as disrespectful to Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin. Or their families. Or YOU, the reader. I’m not about that. That’s not why I drew this.
I am just really freaked out that 40% of Americans (and 47% of White Americans) do not think that the killings and violence in Ferguson ‘raise any racial issues.’ Fellow White Persons, this is our chance to learn. This is our chance to change.
When Trayvon Martin was murdered because Full Grown Men in America are frightened to violence by the presence black children, the dialogue turned very quickly into a conversation about gun control.
And gun control is an issue that deserves our attention.
But it won’t change the massive poverty in Black America. The arrest rate. The education statistics. The institutional, systemic, casual, or passive racism that plagues our country.
And it wouldn’t have saved Michael Brown.
Anyway. I’m sorry if this comes off as disrespectful or insincere or preachy. I’m sorry if my execution (or personality) gets in the way of what I’m trying to say. I am an imperfect artist, an imperfect person, and I am, undoubtedly, blinded to a million things by my own glaring whiteness. So this might be… Lord, this might be awful. I’m so sorry if it’s awful. Really.
But. I just keep thinking… Look, my wife is pregnant with our first child. A boy. We’re nervous, we’re excited, we’re SO ANXIOUS because what the hell do you do with babies? WE don’t know. But if we were a black family… in this country… we would be so terrified. Because we live in a nation that murders the children of black parents, puts it on the news WITH RIOTS AND TEAR GAS as decoration, and still half of us don’t even see it as a problem. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine bringing a child into that reality, to face the odds we lay out for black kids?
That would break me. I’ve never known anything like that. No one should ever know anything like that.
So let’s talk to our friends about race. Lets talk to our families. And when actual victims of racism try to tell us what’s going on in, say, a peaceful community protest as they are being gassed and shot at by cops WE SHOULD LISTEN TO AND BELIEVE THEM. Let’s talk to each other about this until we are all on the same page.
And then let’s turn the damn page.