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The origin of language : tracing the evolution of the mother tongue

Author: Merritt Ruhlen
Publisher: New York : Wiley, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Classification
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Ruhlen, Merritt, 1944-
Origin of language.
New York : Wiley, ©1994
(OCoLC)648616223
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Merritt Ruhlen
ISBN: 0471584266 9780471584261 0471159638 9780471159636
OCLC Number: 29023858
Description: xi, 239 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Contents: Prologue : what do we mean by the origin of language? --
Language and history : voices from the past --
Language families : what is known --
Controversy : what is debated --
Native Americans : language in the New World --
The origin of language : are there global cognates? --
A window on the world : what has been resolved --
Genes : biology and language --
The emerging synthesis : on the origin of modern humans.
Other Titles: Evolution of the mother tongue
Responsibility: Merritt Ruhlen.
More information:

Abstract:

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 most likely 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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