“In Search of the First Language”
by MJ C.R.
Introduce the article.
The literature takes a look at the work of distinguished linguists to find a common ancestor to all languages on earth. It explores the common threads that link the more than 5,000 languages which includes the untranslatable Basque language, efforts to preserve a rapidly disappearing native American language, and a controversial theory that claims to reconstruct words from a time when only a handful of languages were spoken, recalling the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, all aimed at searching for a human mother tongue.
What is the article about? What is the author’s thesis? Analyze the arguments. What are they trying to prove? Are they successful?
According to the literature, there are almost 5,000 different languages spoken all over the world. Many linguists believe that all these languages evolved from about 200 distinct and apparently unrelated families. Whether or not all these language families could have developed from a single language is the issue explored in this literature.
The literature narrates varied research works and opinions among linguists as to whether a primordial language once existed. Some of them claim that after about 10,000 years, any language has changed drastically that it has become impossible for anyone to ascertain the original language. According to them, any theory about languages 10,000 years ago are purely speculative and deserves scant or no consideration. Other linguists used DNA patterns to support their theories. Their efforts are all aimed towards a common goal and that is to find whatever links there are among the various families of languages.
According to Professor Donald Ringe Jr., it seems overwhelmingly likely to him that all human languages derive from some common source and that he thinks most linguists would agree with him and that they would...