On 20 Aug 2001, at 11:22, Jesse Bangs wrote: > This actually causes more problems, I think. Such an event would lead to > the depopulation of one city, or even a handful of cities, but it's > difficult to see how that story could work itself into the myths of an > entire region, and spread as far away as North America (if the Choctaw > story is truly related.) The diaspora of our hypothetical city might > retain the story, but why would their contemporaries adopt it if no such > event ever occurred in their history? My simple thought was that someone with a truly enormous building project began taking on skilled and unskilled labor from everywhere until it got to the point that the number of languages of people in the area working or hoping to work on the project built up to unworkable levels. The people who spoke the same language would naturally gravitate toward eachother and unless someone made an effort to bring the groups together with translators the groups would most likely find the project not worth the time and would scatter back to their places of origin. Each group would take back a story of this great building project that failed when everyone began speaking different languages.