Monday, September 30, 2013

All Human Languages Traced Back to Africa

A startling new discovery about the origins of language, strengthens the theory that the earliest humans came from Southern Africa.    Professor Quentin D. Atkinson, a biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand has traced the origins of human language using a mathemtical modelling technique, which counts phonemes.  These are the consonants, vowels and tones from which all languages are built.  Dr. Atkinson's research was published yesterday to considerable acclaim, in the journal Science.

An article in today's New York Times explains that the click languages of Southern Africa may well be the oldest human languages, from which all others sprang.  I love to hear Zulu, Xhosa and Khoisan speakers use these amazing clicks in their speech.  But what I enjoy even more is to listen to South African singer, Miriam Makeba, sing the beautiful "Click Song" for which she is so-well known. 
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