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John wrote :

Joshua Shinavier scripsit:
>
> > Do linguists generally think
> > that language emerged in one place (e.g. if the first Homo sapiens in Africa
> > had a language) and then spread, or evolved independently in several different
> > places/times?
>
> I think the majority view is that language originated only once,
> but that this event is not now recoverable, as the various language
> phyla (super-families) have differentiated so much as to make
> reconstructing their original relationships impossible.
>

You really have a knack for raising teremendously interesting issues :-) I'm impressed by Ruhlen, Greenberg and Renfrew : they make me hope linguists and archeologists may help know a little more about that primary relation.  What do you'll think of Ruhlen's theory (I know it only via his last popularising book) ?

Mathias



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