Have you ever wondered where the first language originated? Because there had to be ONE original language, right? There had to be one from which all languages evolved. There is a study that claims Africa was the home of the first language and the mother of all languages. Every single language, from English to Chinese, comes from a common ancestor that was used in Africa thousands of years ago.
Language Originated in Africa
After analyzing more than 500 languages, the scientists of Auckland University found that all the languages lead to one root language, actually- to a long-forgotten dialect used by our ancestors from the Stone Age. This remarkable discovery points out two things: 1) the origins of language as a system of human communication directly lead to Africa; 2) the first language developed at least 100, 000 years ago- much earlier than originally thought. This remarkable study also proves that the Modern Man walked the Earth more than 150, 00 years ago. Around 70, 000 years ago, the first humans began to go outside the African continent, eventually inhabiting all corners of the Planet.
Tracing the Evolution of Language
During the aforementioned study, the people working on it began to count the phonemes (different vocal sounds) used in 504 languages in the world, and they recorded an amazing trend: the number of phonemes increases as we approach the Sub-Saharan region. For example, the English and German languages have 46 and 44 phonemes respectively; several languages of South America have less than 15 phonemes, while the language of the Saan people (who are also known as Bushmen) has 200 phonemes! The differences in the number of phonemes are an indication of the early migrations of our African ancestors. The present-day inhabitants of Africa have a much greater genetic diversity than the Europeans, because the peoples of Europe come from a relatively small group that left Africa 70, 000 years ago.
A Reliable Study
Dating languages back to their beginnings is an extremely hard task, and any inferences must be carefully drawn. We can only be fairly satisfied with the results obtained, because languages change at a fast rate (unbelievable as it might seem). In the strict sense of the word, probably no language is older than 400-500 years, because language changes along with culture i.e. habits, ideas, tradition, customs, etc. If we compared English to its 16th century counterpart, we would come across thousands of words that are simply unnecessary, because they refer to concepts that are, in a way, obsolete.