Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Modern Look at the History of Language

So I was reading the New York Times and I ran across this article about potential new findings regarding the origins of language. Specifically, one Dr. Atkinson has been using the same mathematical modeling techniques that they use in tracing genetic trees for linguistic history. It's an interesting article in its own right, but I couldn't help but wonder what Tolkien would have thought of this as a philologist. Perhaps even more interesting is to wonder how this effects the concept of one's "native language." I don't necessarily have any answers; I just found it this morning. Anyways, here's the link to the article.

Max L.

1 comment:

  1. There is an interesting review of this research over at Language Log that considers the data in more detail: Phonemic diversity decays 'out of Africa'?.