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Proto-World (was Re: i just noticed (was fewest sounds))

From:Paul Bennett <paul-bennett@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 29, 2005, 22:06
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On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 13:27:19 -0500, <veritosproject@...> wrote:

> On a side note, this could be an indicator of the existence of a > "proto-world" language. According to Wikipedia, this language would > mostly contain common needs and aspects of life that apply in all > parts of the world. One's mother would fall under this category.
I rather think it's more down to the ease of pronouncing /mA/ ~ /m@/ than the believability of the suggestion that over 120000 years of sound changes would have left the initial /m/ in place in that one word while doing all kinds of things to it in other words. Not that I disbelieve in Proto-World. I rather suspect it was a neccessary part of _homo sapiens'_ life to have a language. I doubt the continuity of tool design and cultural items would have been possible on a "learning by watching" basis. The language would not "contain" only the stuff that was common to all cultures (how would they know, in advance, which roots would be common 120000 years later?), but it's rather the case that only terms that are common to all cultures (+/- the small matter of semantic drift) would be universally reconstructable, and thus in any real sense "provable" as part of the language. Paul