Ancient languages

Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:39 am GMT
What is the most ancient language known to exist?
When did language as we know it today evolve?

Did Neanderthal Men have language as we know it?
Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 1:27 pm GMT
Yes, I'd like to know a thing or two about that too.
I've read somewhere that scientists managed to reconstruct the language of the Oetzi?
Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:43 pm GMT
Probably they have but the phonology was not as developed as ours.

If apes like orangutans, chimpanzees, and gibbons have languages using simple vocal sounds and sign/body language more so with the neanderthal men who were more advanced than the lower primates.

Another thing is whales such as dolphin also have languages but theirs are more like whistling and shreiking. Each pitch has an assigned meaning which can be considered as words. Whales can produce multiple pitches to convey meanings.
Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 4:12 pm GMT
And what can you say about the myna birds who could mimic human speech and to a lesser degree parrots but don't know what the imitated sounds they emit?
Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 5:43 pm GMT
Well, all I could find is this:

Can you make something out of it? I mean, I realize that it must be all wrong, but still.
Adolfo   Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:09 pm GMT
Despite proto-Indoeuropean is the most ancient common ancestor to many languages which has been reconstructed to a reasonable degree of accuracy, researchers think that there was an older language called proto-nostratic from which indoeuropean languages as well as semitic languages (and other african languages) evolved.
K. T.   Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:27 pm GMT
Do many linguists take the point of view of Evolutionary scientists?

This seems a little backward to me.
K. T.   Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:30 pm GMT
No one knows for sure, but IIRC their vocal apparatus wasn't adapted for speech like ours is (with a lowered pharynx). Doesn't mean that they couldn't have a form of vocal communication, but it would be quite different from our speech.-Josh

Where did you get this information, Josh? How many specimens were found? Were they frozen, or just skeletal remains?
Adolfo   Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:31 pm GMT
What is "evolutionary scientists"?
K. T.   Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:53 pm GMT
That's okay, Josh. I can take it from there. I just needed a source.
Skippy   Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:45 pm GMT
One of my linguistics professors said that there are a few linguists who have attempted to put together a Proto-World language and have gotten about 15-20 words... Naturally the study is dubious because they're taking a hypothetical language (ex. Proto-Germanic) to form another hypothetical language (ex. Proto-Indo-European) and then form this proto-World language. It's interesting, I suppose lol.

The oldest we're really able to study are probably Egyptian and Sumerian.
Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:02 pm GMT
"Did Neanderthal Men have language as we know it?" mainly consisted of consonantal grunts. Many vowels such as "A,I,E,O" couldn't have been pronounced - due to an tighten (vocal) opening.
Guest   Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:50 pm GMT
Do the first glimpses into these "Proto-Nostratic" and "Proto-World" languages show that they are enormously complex, at least morphologically?

This would continue the trend as you go back in time from the ultra-simple (morphologically) English to Old-English to Germanic to Indo-European, and then to Proto-Nostratic and back to Proto-World.
K. T.   Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:39 pm GMT
Thanks, Josh. I'll have to look into it. My idea is quite different. I think that "man" has been able to speak since day one.