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Common Ancient Language?

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Common Ancient Language?

Postby Perry Lassiter » Tue May 07, 2013 10:27 am

In a breaking news story today, some linguists believe they have discovered an ancient language, 15,000 years old, that broke apart into English, Urdu, and Japanese. From one to seven to ? It grew. What do you think?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/ ... uperfamily
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Re: Common Ancient Language?

Postby gailr » Tue May 07, 2013 8:24 pm

The phrasing you used to include English threw me until I read the article, Perry. :)
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Re: Common Ancient Language?

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed May 08, 2013 11:35 pm

There seems to be a lot of controversy about language similarities. I confess I do not quite follow the line of the argument. It seems to me that the samples are too small and the algorithms are too obscure to prove much. It is a big stretch to "discover" a language family that covers so large a set of modern languages. Sometimes people write computer programs that prove GIGO - garbage in, garbage out.
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Re: Common Ancient Language?

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu May 09, 2013 12:50 pm

All reasoning is based on initial assumptions, technically called axioms.
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Re: Common Ancient Language?

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu May 09, 2013 10:16 pm

One can always prove what he/she wishes as long as the theorem is included in the axioms.
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Re: Common Ancient Language?

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri May 10, 2013 12:12 am

Heard an interview on NPR this afternoon with one of the guys who has been working on the 10,000 year old project. He names some of the words and pronounces them as they might have sounded at different stages. Haven't checked, but I bet they're on their website.
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Re: Common Ancient Language?

Postby Philip Hudson » Fri May 10, 2013 1:43 am

i worked on some seemingly interminable projects when I was a systems engineer, but never one that took 10,000 years.

The man in the interview you referenced, Perry, may have had quite an imiganation. If you Google the spoken prologue to the Canterbury Tales on Youtube, you will get more than one hit. Everyone has his own pronunciation for these Middle English words. I learned the first sixteen lines "by heart" as a lad, and my pronunciation, taught me by a very earnest young and cute English teacher, is somewhere in the middle of the Middle English I have been listening to on Youtube.

One of my Chinese students is enthralled by everything that is related to the English Language. He wants me to teach him Middle English. Help! What must I do, wing it? Yeah. Why not? If those people on the 10,000 year old project can do it, why not I.
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