The Origin of Language: Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue

Wiley, 1994 - 256 páginas
Just as archaeologists study fossils and ancient artifacts for clues about mankind's origins, linguistic researchers today are sifting through word roots and grammatical conventions and coming up with some startling revelations about our beginnings. In The Origin of Language noted linguist Merritt Ruhlen takes you on a fascinating journey of discovery back through nearly 100,000 years of human history and prehistory in pursuit of the language from which all modern tongues derive. Requiring no prior familiarity with linguistics, The Origin of Language is the first book to explain, in laymen's terms, the controversial process by which linguists are tracing the development of the vast range of human speech, sweeping aside many traditional assumptions about the spread of language and the roots of the human family. In addition to acquainting you with the manner in which such diverse languages as English and Chinese can be compared, Dr. Ruhlen introduces you to the brilliant mavericks whose linguistic theories are at last gaining worldwide acceptance. He also discusses the exciting new work being done in genetics and archaeology that corroborates much of the controversial linguistic evidence. But more than simply describing his and his colleague's theories, Dr. Ruhlen invites you to share in the joys of discovery. He arms you with the linguist's basic tool kit and lets you work through the evidence for yourself and draw your own conclusions. You'll classify languages and language families, trace language family trees, and even reconstruct some of the basic vocabulary used by our most distant ancestors. Also, based on clues provided by your research, you'll plot the land and sea routes mostlikely taken by early humans in their diaspora out of Africa and to the four corners of the world. While The Origin of Language is an incomparable introduction to some of the most exciting linguistic research now being conducted by researchers around the globe, it is also much more. It is an inspiring invitation to join the quest for our human roots and to hear the echoes of the Mother Tongue.

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THE ORIGIN OF LANGAUGE: Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue

Reseña de usuario  - Kirkus

A world-class linguist demonstrates similarities among the globe's 5,000 languages to argue the case for a single, unifying Mother Tongue. Ruhlen (A Guide to the World's Languages, not reviewed) lets ... Leer reseña completa

LibraryThing Review

Reseña de usuario  - name99 - LibraryThing

Very very interesting, marred slightly by being a polemic. The first few chapters, describing how language families are constructed, what the families are, and how the superfamilies are created, are ... Leer reseña completa


What Do We Mean by the Origin of Language?
How When and Where
How Classification Proceeds
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Sobre el autor (1994)

MERRITT RUHLEN, Ph.D., is one of the world's foremost linguists, and his work has been featured in nearly every recent major article on the history of language. Dr. Ruhlen received his Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford University, and studied linguistics at the University of Paris, the University of Bucharest, and the University of Illinois. He has published more than forty articles, monographs, and books on various topics in linguistics.

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