Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Many words, such as I, you, we, man and bark are still in use today.

A "super language" used in Ice Age Europe contains many of the same words we use today - and if we were to engage with denizens of that prehistoric time, we wouldn't have much difficulty in communicating. The University of Reading study says that such words, such as I, you, we, man and bark are still in use.

Professor of Evolutionary Biology Mark Pagel and his team predict that certain words would have changed so slowly over long periods of time as to retain traces of their ancestry for up to 10,000 or more years.

Professor of Evolutionary Biology Mark Pagel and his team predict that certain words would have changed so slowly over long periods of time as to retain traces of their ancestry for up to 10,000 or more years.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/8/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Ice Age. super language, linguistics, words, shared sounds


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers are confident that complete sentences could still be understood today, using the linguistic "common language" allowing different groups to communicate.

Professor of Evolutionary Biology Mark Pagel and his team predict that certain words would have changed so slowly over long periods of time as to retain traces of their ancestry for up to 10,000 or more years.

"We discovered we could predict a rate of evolution for words," Professor Pagel says. "There was a small subset of words that evolved so slowly over time they might last up to 20,000 years. You realize, 'golly, I might be able to predict words that link these families,' and we found these 23 words that have a common ancestor."

The 23 words include Mother, Fire, to spit and worm, which would have sounded very different, Professor Pagel says. "The words would not sound exactly the same, but they would be recognizable, or in a form that we could easily learn to recognizable.

"The words for mother, for instance, sound like mama or something similar.

"If we were to sit round a campfire, we could have a basic conversation."

Previous studies have examined shared sounds among words to identify those that are likely to be derived from common ancestral words, such as the Latin "pater" and the English "father." The difficulty with this approach, the team said, is that two words might have similar sounds just by accident, such as the words "team" and "cream."

To combat this problem, Professor Pagel's team showed that a subset of words was used frequently in everyday speech, are more likely to be retained over long periods of time.

Sound similarities are discovered they do not merely reflect the workings of chance. "The way in which we use a certain set of words in everyday speech is something common to all human languages," Pagel said.

"We discovered numerals, pronouns and special adverbs are replaced far more slowly, with linguistic half-lives of once every 10,000 or even more years. 

"As a rule of thumb, words used more than about once per thousand in everyday speech were seven to ten times more likely to show deep ancestry in the Eurasian super-family. The research shows they each probably stem from a common language ancestor.

"As words evolve they change, such as P to F transition, which change over time."

Calling for more research into common languages, Professor Pagel noted that "The fact we can find these ancient links should encourage us to do more of it. We can test interesting questions about human migration and evolution through these links."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Did a broken heart lead to mass slaughter? Germanwings co-pilot said to be 'depressed' and 'stressed' Watch

Image of Remembered as a friendly and funny personality, Andreas Lubitz had a life-long obsession to become a pilot. There is speculation that he feared his flying license - due to expire in just three months time would not have been renewed on medical grounds.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The willful destruction of himself - along with 149 other, innocent human beings, has the world scrambling for answers. Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, who slammed his plane into mountainside earlier this week. Killing everyone onboard, remains a ... continue reading


DEADLY SECRET: Co-pilot of doomed Germanwings flight hid medical condition, authorities say Watch

Image of A terrible tragedy that left 150 people dead may have been the result of a frightened, insecure man hiding a medical condition. Investigators say that Germanwings copilot Andreas Lubitz was keeping an unspecified medical condition secret from others.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A terrible tragedy that left 150 people dead may have been the result of a frightened, insecure man hiding a medical condition. Investigators say that Germanwings copilot Andreas Lubitz was keeping an unspecified medical condition secret from others and had a ... continue reading


CO-PILOT LOCKED CAPTAIN OUT OF COCKPIT: Chilling last minutes of Germanwings Airbus crash revealed Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Investigators have recovered key information from the French Alps wrecked Germanwings Airbus A320's black box and voice recorder. The co-pilot, 28-year-old German, Andreas Lubitz, intentionally locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed into a ... continue reading


STANDING FIRM: Nearly 500 British priests urge synod to stand firm on Communion for the remarried Watch

Image of An extraordinary synod last year provoked heated debate on the question of whether remarried Catholics should be permitted to receive Holy Communion, which was a proposal presented by retired German Cardinal Walter Kasper.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly 500 British priests have signed a letter urging those attending this year's family synod to issue a "clear and firm proclamation" upholding Church teaching on marriage. An extraordinary synod last year provoked heated debate on the question of whether ... continue reading


Pope Francis sends message to families of victims in Germanwings' French Alps crash, as black box and cockpit recorder recovered Watch

Image of Families are hit with grief as the search for bodies continues.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

150 people were killed in the tragic Germanwings A320 Airbus crash in the snowy French Alps earlier this week. Pope Francis has come forward with some words of comfort for all those involved in the horrific accident. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis ... continue reading


GAS ATTACK FEARED: Islamist State may launch attack on London's Underground subway system Watch

Image of The 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway killed 13 people. Experts now fear that Islamist State agents returning to the United Kingdom will launch similar offenses.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Islamic State militants returning to the United Kingdom could attack London Underground trains or football matches with chlorine gas. That is the frightening estimation from chemical weapons expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a retired head of chemical and ... continue reading


Plane crash in French Alps: All 150 feared dead Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An airplane carrying 150 people crashed Tuesday in the French Alps. All 144 passengers and six crew members are presumed dead. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) A Germanwings Airbus A320 was traveling from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf  Germany. During mid ... continue reading


Spanish priest performs 13 exorcisms on anorexic girl Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Spanish priest and official exorcist of Valladolid, Jesus Hernandez Sahagun was arrested and is now facing charges of gender violence, causing injury and mistreatment, according to the Daily Mail. The priest has allegedly performed 13 exorcisms on the girl, who was ... continue reading


Pope Francis mobbed by cloistered nuns during Naples trip Watch

Image of The prison visit formed part of a very busy day for Pope Francis in the city 150 miles south of Rome.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mobbed by a group of excited nuns during his visit to Naples Cathedral, a cardinal exclaimed, "They are going to eat him!" Usually observing the rules of "papal enclosure" and rarely allowed to leave their nunneries, the sisters let out of their convents for ... continue reading


Bishop Williamson excommunicated - again, for illicitly ordaining bishop against papal orders Watch

Image of Bishop Williamson has criticized the leaders of the SSPX for being

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time, Bishop Richard Williamson has been automatically excommunicated -- along with the priest, he illicitly ordained a bishop. Williamson violated Church law when he ordained 73-year-old Father Jean-Michel Faure without papal approval during a ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-7
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
8 'He trusted himself to Yahweh, let Yahweh set him ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 15:1-39
1 First thing in the morning, the chief priests, ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 2:6-11
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 29th, 2015 Image

St. Berthold
March 29: Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter