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Linguists Identify 15,000-Year-Old 'Ultraconserved Words'


Science & Tech  (tags: scientists, study, world, society, research, discovery, archaeology, ancient, humans, interesting, investigation )

JL
- 494 days ago - washingtonpost.com
In addition to Indo-European, the language families included Altaic (whose modern members include Turkish, Uzbek and Mongolian); Chukchi-Kamchatkan (languages of far northeastern Siberia); Dravidian (languages of south India); Inuit-Yupik (Arctic languag



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Comments

JL A. (275)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 10:24 am
Quote from the copy written article:
"In addition to Indo-European, the language families included Altaic (whose modern members include Turkish, Uzbek and Mongolian); Chukchi-Kamchatkan (languages of far northeastern Siberia); Dravidian (languages of south India); Inuit-Yupik (Arctic languages); Kartvelian (Georgian and three related languages) and Uralic (Finnish, Hungarian and a few others).

They make up a diverse group. Some don’t use the Roman alphabet. Some had no written form until modern times. They sound different to the untrained ear. Their speakers live thousands of miles apart. In short, they seem unlikely candidates to share cognates.

Pagel’s team used as its starting material 200 words that linguists know to be the core vocabulary of all languages. "
 

Freya H. (307)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 11:06 am
I heard sometime ago that linguists attempted to create an ur-sprech (ancient language) that would be similar, if not the same as, the root language for all Indo-European tongues. As people spread out, subtle changes in language built up from generation to generation, but some things clearly stayed the same. I love toying with language and words, and spotting similarities between languages, especially unrelated ones.
 

Terry V. (30)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 1:06 pm
interesting, thanks
 

Angelika R. (143)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 2:17 pm
Quite interesting, thx! I listened in to the samples on the WaPo site graphic, -favorite: no doubt, "to spit "in Kartevelian :-)
 

Patricia Long (1)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 4:52 pm
Fascinating! Thanks, and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 4:56 pm
You are welcome Terry, Angelika and Patricia.
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day
 

Gloria picchetti (290)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 6:09 pm
I have friends who are Bible translators with whom I shall share.
 

Effie Ligon (57)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 6:21 pm
Interesting, thank you!
 

Birgitta S. (231)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 7:36 pm
Very Interested ( as a former linguistic). Thank you, JL ~
 

Birgitta S. (231)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 7:38 pm
Autsh! a correction: as a former linguist.... :-)))))) & :-)))))))))))
 

JL A. (275)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 7:40 pm
You are welcome Effie and Birgitta!
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Patricia H. (468)
Saturday May 11, 2013, 11:42 pm
noted
 

Pogle S. (88)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 12:09 am
Excellent article, I've learnt something new today!
 

Maureen C. (3)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 12:11 am
That was very interesting to a hobby linguist like me: I got lost reading the comments on the article page.

So why weren't 'I' or 'me' or 'do' on that list? or the common article 'the' or 'that', if the most commonly-used words were the ultra-conserved?

Question: is globalization and increasing penetration of mass media now pulling us back toward a single common language?
 

Kimberly C. (0)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 3:56 am
The link seems to go to page 2--make sure you read page 1 also. Fascinating article, thanks for sharing!
 

Darren Woolsey (74)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 5:05 am
Absolutely fascinating... thanks for sharing.
 

Wendy C. (109)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 5:23 am
really interesting! Thanks for posting :)
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 8:15 am
You are welcome Kimberly, Darren and Wendy!
 

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 9:59 am
Thank you for the fascinating news! (n, p, t)
 

linda newman (2905)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 6:56 pm
thanks like this
 

JL A. (275)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 6:59 pm
You are welcome Bryna and Linda!
 

Birgit W. (144)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 7:22 pm
Interesting, thank you.
 

Dijana D. (2)
Sunday May 12, 2013, 9:36 pm
interesting
 

Past Member (0)
Monday May 13, 2013, 12:12 am
I didn't find the Inuit Ushfar to be anything like Ti in the other languages for the word Thou.
 

Mari 's (1364)
Monday May 13, 2013, 5:02 am
Interesting!!! :)
 

John B. (215)
Monday May 13, 2013, 5:31 am
Thanks JL for the intro and the link to the exceptionally interesting article. Wonderful read and very informative. Read and noted.
 

JL A. (275)
Monday May 13, 2013, 7:11 am
You are welcome Birgit and John.
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last day.
 

Dot A. (133)
Monday May 13, 2013, 3:51 pm
such an important article - Thanks so much for posting, JL A.
thou
gives

very well!
 
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