A new study has revealed some promising insights on the origins of human language.

It now appears that language began in Africa, and it may even have helped our ancestors make the move to other parts of the world. But how can we know what language was like, thousands of years ago?

UWA linguist Daniel Midgley takes you back in time on this week’s Talk the Talk.


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Show notes

Best to start with the New York Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/15/science/15language.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

Or US News and World Report
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/research/articles/2011/04/14/human-language-origins-traced-to-africa-study-finds

Or Discover Magazine
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/04/the-african-ur-language/

The original article (paywall)
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/332/6027/346.full

Language evolved once.
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/04/language-may-have-helped-early-h.html?ref=hp

Mark Liberman from Language Log has some concerns
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3090

I got the example of click languages from here:
http://www.theroot.com/views/what-click-languages-africa-tell-about-our-origins

More about mitochondrial DNA and the ‘Out of Africa’ theory
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070509161829.htm

And Wikipedia’s page on the founder effect
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder_effect