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The origin of many of today’s languages

Using data gathered from over 150 languages, linguists have determined that many of today's languages first emerged 5,5,00-6,500 years ago from the Pontic-Caspian steppe. This article provides new support for the "steppe hypothesis" or "Kurgan hypothesis", which proposes that Indo-European languages first spread with cultural developments in animal husbandry around 4500

Climate affected development of language

Linguistic researchers have discovered a link between the evolution of language and climate. Many languages of the world use tone or pitch to give meaning to their words. University of Miami (UM) linguist Caleb Everett and his collaborators have uncovered that languages with complex tones --those that use three or more

Ancient Egyptian everyday language compiled into dictionary

A dictionary of Demotic, the everyday language of the ancient Egyptians, has been compiled after a 37-year project by the University of Chicago. Demotic was used in everyday Egyptian documents and letters, said Janet Johnson, a University of Chicago Egyptologist. The researchers compiled the words in the dictionary from Demotic on

Most Neanderthals were right-handed

New research suggests that most Neanderthals were right-handed, and that because this means they had left-brain dominance, they may have had the capacity for language. A new analysis of the skeleton of a 20-something Neanderthal man confirms that he was a righty like most of his European caveman cousins whose remains

Dictionary of ancient Assyrian language finished

Scholars at the University of Chicago have completed a dictionary of the Assyrian languange, listing 28,000 words that haven't been used in over 2,000 years. The raw material for the dictionary was the millions of still-surviving cuneiform tablets recovered from ruins of Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and other ancient Near Eastern Mesopotamian

The evolution of Language is a convoluted one

A recent study has revealed that the evolution of language is much more complex than previously thought. It’s widely thought that human language evolved in universally similar ways, following trajectories common across place and culture, and possibly reflecting common linguistic structures in our brains. But a massive, millennium-spanning analysis of humanity’s

How the King James Bible changed the English language

The BBC has posted up an interesting article looking at the impact of the King James Bible, published 400 years ago, on the English language. No other book, or indeed any piece of culture, seems to have influenced the English language as much as the King James Bible. Its turns of

Ancient Greek language survives in small community

An isolated community in north-eastern Turkey has been found to speak a dialect of Greek that is very close to the ancient Greek. As few as 5,000 people speak the dialect but linguists believe that it is the closest, living language to ancient Greek and could provide an unprecedented insight into