Is an an­cient African di­alect the mother of all lan­guages?

Youth Street News - - Opinion - Nid­his­ibha

In a star­tling rev­e­la­tion, sci­en­tists have claimed that all mod­ern lan­guages, across dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents, had their ori­gins in a sin­gle mother tongue spo­ken in an­cient Africa. They study has found out that 50,000 to 70,000 years ago, the lan­guage spo­ken by a sec­tion of the Africans of the time was adapted across re­gions and led to the evo­lu­tion of the 6,000 lan­guages of the mod­ern world.

The study was con­ducted by the Univer­sity of Auck­land un­der the aegis of Quentin Atkin­son. The study fur­ther claims that the

his­tory of speech is much longer than what is gen­er­ally be­lieved. Ac­cord­ing to the re­search, which has been pub­lished in dif­fer­ent jour­nals, a sin­gle na­tive lan­guage in Africa is the mother of all lan­guages. The re­sults have cre­ated a stir in the lin­guists' world as most schol­ars ad­vo­cate the the­ory that dif­fer­ent lan­guages evolved in dif­fer­ent epochs in his­tory and in­de­pen­dently of each other.

Atkin­son's study pro­pounds the the­ory that a great mi­gra­tion of the African peo­ple led to the spread of the lan­guage to other con­ti­nents where it was ac­cli­ma­tised. In due course of time, the lan­guage evolved, branched and changed char­ac­ter sig­nif­i­cantly. The Wall Street Jour­nal, while re­fer­ring to Atkin­son's re­port, said re­cently, "It was the cat­a­lyst that spurred the hu­man ex­pan­sion that we all are a prod­uct of." Sig­nif­i­cantly, Atkin­son's study also claims that this "mother tongue" was also re­spon­si­ble for the ad­vance­ment of hunt­ing tools and meth­ods and played an im­por­tant role in the grad­ual es­tab­lish­ment of cul­ture.

Atkin­son ar­rived to this "sin­gle mother lan­guage" con­clu­sion af­ter dili­gent ex­plo­ration of 504 world lan­guages with spe­cific de­tails per­tain­ing to their con­so­nants, vow­els and tones. He claims to have got com­pelling ev­i­dence that the an­cient di­alect spo­ken by our stone-age an­ces­tors con­tained the ori­gins of all lan­guages.

The study also men­tioned that while English has about 45 pho­nemes, the near­est re­gions to Africa have more than 100 pho­nemes and Hawai­ian, which is at the far­thest point of the hu­man mi­gra­tion route out of Africa, has merely 13. This pos­si­bly demon­strates that as civil­i­sa­tions mush­roomed from one cor­ner of the world to an­other, there was an ob­vi­ous trans­for­ma­tion of the first­language that con­sis­tently changed char­ac­ter and evolved into an en­tirely new lan­guage, al­beit with some residues of the an­cient di­alect. It is to be noted that hu­mans are said to have spread some 70,000 years ago from the Sub-sa­ha­ran Africa to dif­fer­ent parts of the globe.

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