It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

What was the first language?

page: 5
5
<< 2  3  4    6  7  8 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 11:26 PM
link   

Originally posted by Nygdan

What happens in english is that the words for many livestock are germanic, but the words for the culinary preparation of them are french, presumably this is because the upper classes who had the food prepared for them spoke french, whereas the peasants retained the names for these common animals.


French culinary terms were borrowed because the English speakers of Britain prior to the norman invasion knew very little about cooking. They had a crap cuisine. Traditional English food is not world-renowned.

In the same way, English has borrowed many French and Spanish words to describe geographical features. The vocabulary of the rolling hills of England wasn't up to describing North America.




posted on Sep, 9 2006 @ 11:40 PM
link   

Originally posted by Nygdan
I am just not seeing why we should think that there were homo sapiens without langauge. I'd think that language even pre-exists homo sapiens.


Consider feral children. If they are taken back into society after they are about 10, they can learn words, but not sentence structure. If you recover them prior to 10, they can still acquire language and do so quickly.

Would a group of feral children (as opposed to a solitary child) develop structured language. I guess not, but as far as I know, no such example has been found. I suspect it took generations of language capable humans to build-up the first language/s. I suppose it started once we really got the hang of walking upright.



posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 02:28 PM
link   

Originally posted by Toromos

One possibility that I've always been intrigued by, is that language developed as part of rhythmic chants used by work crews in early human communities. People would chant to generate a rhythm for often laborious work, and this chanting kind of co-evolved both music and language. Different chants lead to different meanings, which lead to language. There is a scene in the movie Kundan that's always illustrated this well for me. The young Dalai Lama is looking out from his palace, and sees a work crew on a roof. The workmen using some sort of heavy device to stomp the roof flat. They are all singing a song to keep the rhythm of their work going. With this theory, language is thought to have only really developed with the first, settled, proto-agraian communities, where that sort of work would have been called for.


Thanks guys for sharing your ideas initiated by CX, esp. Toromos, Nygdan and of course others too. One can feel the power of knowledge sharing here.

But in this case, I don't I agree with you Toromos. Music is a more complicated form than language. It is very well ordered sounds, well advanced for the early man then, esp. for his primitive vocal chords. Moreover his immediate requirement would be some sort communication means to warn his partner/kid of danger, to inform about food, etc. It would be simple sounds or gestures. Languages evolved much later.

Probably sound came first (like other animals), then gestures, then simple drawings (cave drawings/paintings), then symbols which special meanings, ... then language. Music much later.



posted on Oct, 6 2006 @ 04:41 PM
link   
IMO, the first language is surely from Africa, since it is the cradle of humanity where the early humans learned and mastered almost all the basic things. And it is mainly simple sounds and gestures based. Moreover it didn’t die, it’s still living, in you, in me, everywhere, it is genetically transmitted.

Take a good look at the words for mother and father.

mum, ma, mother, amma, umma, mommy, muter, mère, madre, etc – all are Ms
papa, pap, padre, père, appa, pai, pita, vaapa, pa, etc – all are Ps

Same applies to other important words. Similarly we all share the same gestures. To say no in gesture language, it is always nodding head left to right. To yes, up and down. Even with fingers refusing is left to right, accepting is back and forth. If we explore deep we can extend further.

Off topic: I read (I’m not sure, it could be wrong) somewhere, the elephant’s language (mahout’s language, mahout – person who rides/tames an elephant) is somewhat similar to the above mentioned stuff. The mahout speaks not the local language but a single different language no matter of their nationality, the language which an elephant can easily understand. It is the language the stone-age man used to speak and these amazing animals still remembers this language since their first encounter with man.



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 12:01 PM
link   
I may be missing something in all this but it is primary knowlwdge that Homo Neanderthal incontrovertably possessed the power of speech because he had a hyoid bone. So if Neanderthals emerged about 130,000 years ago as a new species we can conclude that he had the ability of some sort of primary language.

It has been widely surmised that Homo Habilis, who originated about 2.5 million years ago and followed Austalopithicines in the hominid chain, also had a a hyoid.

While these beings may not have been as articulate as Plato we note that language is defined as:

the expression or communication of thought and feelings by means of vocal sounds and combinations of such sounds, towhich meaning is attributed; human speech



posted on Oct, 8 2006 @ 09:22 PM
link   
Basque
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basque Language, language spoken by the Basques, the people inhabiting north central Spain and the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques in southwestern France. The Basque language is one of the oldest languages still spoken today and may have originally been spoken as a pre-Ice Age cave language. The Basque name for their language is Euskara.
The language has a number of dialects, of which the chief are Guipúzcoan, Biscayan, and Navarrese in Spain and Labourdin and Navarrais in France. In terms of word formation, Basque is classified as an agglutinative language. There are 715,000 people who speak Basque in France, Spain, Costa Rica, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico and the United States of America.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 02:05 PM
link   
I am going to chime in and say Sanskrit. It is said by the acient Vedics (they lived somewhere between (5000 to 15000 B.C.) that it was the language of the demigods or dieties.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 08:25 PM
link   

Originally posted by arc_mar
Hi Guys all your posts made interesting reading,unfortunately "Tamil " the living classical language came up nowhere in the discussion. Hence i thought i would offer my insight in this scholarly discussion.

Tamil's origins are independent of Sanskrit (which is from the Indo-European language family and the ancestor of many Indian languages). The oldest available book on Tamil Grammar is Tolkaappiyam, which is said to be the world's oldest surviving grammar for any language, published c. 6th century BC.


I agree with you arc_mar. Tamil could be a possible (strongly too) first language, if we consider the first language as intelligible and well evolved, rather than a primitive.

Moreover it is one of the only 8 classical languages (classical Arabic, classical Chinese, classical Greek, classical Persian, classical Sanskrit, Hebrew, Latin and Tamil) and is living too. Almost all the other languages are in classical form and almost not practiced in present day (eg: NT Greek is totally different from modern Greek. The New Testament (NT) Greek has more stresses, accents and breathings which pose lot problems to any educated person). But Tamil, even the ancient Tamil, is still understandable by any educated person (no need to be a scholar).

A classical language to survive till date is really a great deal.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 09:30 PM
link   
Tamil could be a possible (convincingly too) first language, if we consider the first language as intelligible and well evolved, rather than a primitive. Reasons:

A) We know for sure Africa is the cradle of humanity, means the first primitive language is from Africa. And
1) India shares many features with Africa: animals (elephants, lions, tigers, rhinos, etc.), birds, coal mines (and yeah, very interestingly diamond mines. They both share this great similarity which suggests that the tectonic movements might be similar. That means also trees once lived in these regions are buried into earth at the same time. The tell tale signs of diamond pipelines are really striking.) etc.
2) Jarawas and other primitive tribes are still living in Andaman and Nicobar islands of India, whose possible genetic relatives are Bochimans of Kalahari desert, South Africa.
3) The Dravidians are classified under Negroid race (I see a possible discrimination in this case. Because their features like long thin hair, nose, jaw bones, forehead, medium built, etc are totally different from negroids. We can call them as Dravidioids, but still they are closely related to negroids genetically, like australoids.).
4) Dravidians languages are firmly Tamil based or at least Tamil is very much close to the mother language, Proto-Dravidian. If we dig deep we can find the remnants of Dravidian knowledge in other cultures, e.g.: in music, one among 6 church modes is Dravidian mode. Later we can simply rename these things into Latin or Sanskrit, which is always the case.
5) So Tamil could be evolved from this primitive African language, means it’s ancient.

B) In 18th century when Sanskrit was first introduced to western scholars, they identified it as a potential mother language or a language closer to mother language proto-indo-European [than ancient Greek]. As usual, they tried to claim it as western. One notorious e.g., Aryan invasion theory, by Max Muller. Means Aryans are basically Europeans and they introduced Sanskrit and other sciences to India. Thus they give the Aryans blue eyes and blond hairs, i.e.: for French they are gauls/celts and for Germans/English they are Goths/Germanics. This led to one unpardonable sin in linguistics by western/Indian Sanskritologists/Indologists; they totally discarded Tamil, and considered it as primitive and unintelligible aboriginal language.

C) Later in early 20th century, the excavations of the two ancient cities Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro rubbished all the above theories. These cities are founded earlier than Vedic civilization (~1500-500 BCE) and confirmed Aryans are recent settlers. Vedic civilization = village based. Indus Valley/Harappan = city based. Researchers like Asko Parpola, Iravadham Mahadevan are trying to decipher Indus script using Tamil/Dravidian link. Not to forget latest finding (2001) of the submerged city in Gujarat, which will rewrite the entire Indian history from ~7000 BCE, if excavated. But unfortunately strong tidal waves render this city untouchable. This Dwaraka is ruled by a black Krishna.

D) Considering all the 4 Sangams, Tamil’s history will go back well into past. Nowadays, an urge among scholars to consider deluges and inundations by sea is getting stronger. Tamil sangams largely speak about these deluges.

Continued in the next post.



posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 10:43 PM
link   
Continuation of the previous post

E) Palatal borrowings, retroflex consonants and early loan words from Dravidian/Tamil to Sanskrit are proved. And the way vowels and consonants arranged in Sanskrit is similar to Tamil. Whereas in other indo-European they are mixed.

F) It is a living classical language which has an unbroken literary tradition since its known history till date (Even today some film songs are written using the ancient grammar, Tholkappiam).

G) It is the one and only language in the world which hosted conferences, learned gatherings or a school of literary critics founded to foster a language. These Sangam gatherings have only one single goal in its focal point: to enrich Tamil in every possible way in three different forms: literature, music, and dance/theatre. That means Tamil might have achieved its refined form much earlier than the dates proved by literary historians.

H) Without a frozen structure of a language, these types of gatherings are literally impossible. To freeze a language to one particular form will take years (e.g. one can say French took ~2000 years to attain its present form. But again it inherited lot from Latin.) But Tamil is totally independent language and it achieved its present form ~3000 years ago (as for the modern historians who do not consider Sangams). That means either Tamil must be much more ancient or the Tamil people must be extremely intelligent to accomplish this in a very short period of time.

I) Research works on Dravidian/Tamil link to Japanese and Finno-Ugric are also carried out. These works are fairly supported by scholars (not largely). But considering Tamil as a link itself suggests it got some potential.

I firmly believe that Tamil was/is largely discriminated by [large number of] international and Indian [Aryan] scholars. And the native Tamil scholars are sandwitched between these two groups.

As far as I am concerned, Tamil, a very ancient, well evolved living classical language, is everyway unique like the Grottes de Lascaux of France and the architectural grandeur of ancient Egypt monuments, which cannot be replaced by any means.



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 10:32 AM
link   

Originally posted by dr_strangecraft

With written evidence at 200 BC, you'd have to posit several millennia with no evidence . . .

We have Greek, Minoan from the ~1000 - 1400 BC

Egyptian Hieroglyphics from ~2000-2500 BC

Texts from Mohenjo Daro even older.

Generally, it seems that really ancient languages give rise to numerous "daughter" languages. Examples would be proto-indoeuropean, or the Mayan writings of Yucatan, which were used throughout the region, for related and later languages.

Notice that I'm not saying Tamil isn't just as old.


I'm only pointing out that there's no evidence of it.


“You'd have to posit several millennia with no evidence . . .” this is really unfair and utterly imprudent observation. Considering Tamil’s oral transmission, cotton cloth, [mainly] palm-leaf manuscripts, Sanskrit dominance, etc., the survival of an ~2000-2500 year old Tolkaappium is really a big deal.

My questions are:
1) Can you freeze an independent language to one particular form [even] within ~4000-5000 years. That too Tamil got its present form ~2000-2500 years ago (well, as per the western literary historians).
2) Is it possible in those days (with less sophisticated methods practiced)? Within a short span of time?
3) Well now a language got frozen. Can you write a grammar book within ~2000-3000 years?
4) Do you think evolution of an independent language is just a matter of few centuries?
5) Or God came down to earth and handed over them the grammar book
. A matter of few seconds. Vertig!



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 11:06 AM
link   
Some useful links other than Wiki's Sangam/Tamil related pages:

Harappan site (What it has to do with Brithish Raj
)

An Indus "Dictionary"

The Indus Script

Study of the Indus Script

The Dravidian Languages

[edit on 14-10-2006 by CosmicScorpion]



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 01:06 PM
link   
Sorry but I am failing to see why 2-3-5 or even 8,000 years ago is the only reasonable time for language. If the speech of Neanderthals was not a language what was it? Sophisticated is in the eye of the beholder. If they obviously could convey abstract thought such as burials and grave goods their communication skills were not lacking and their brains were more than adequate.

If not them then Cro-Magnon's influx at some 40,000 years ago was convincingly punctuated by a language to communicate all the aspects of his more complex lifestyle, tool making and manipulation plus social and cultural interaction that ultimately led to established trading.

These may be dead languages now but leaping to just 8,000 years ago to look for the 1st language is strange to me.



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 02:45 PM
link   


4) Do you think evolution of an independent language is just a matter of few centuries?

Elvish took Tolkien about 20 years to develop
and Klingon less than 30

Kilngon is also the fastest growing language on earth today
along with elvis impersonators being the fastest growing minority from there being one in 1977 to over 2,000,000 today
imagine the world of the future with earth totally populated by elvis impersonators who can only sing in klingon


come back James T all is forgiven






Traditional English food is not world-renowned.

do what
you never heard of fish and chips
or roast beef
or christmas pudding

I expect you think the french contribution of raw snails in garlic or baked frog legs are delicious
or maybe you're an american who thinks the hamburger is a valid claim
news for you buddy its german
and french fries are actually from belgium
Next time youre eating a curry don't foget who popularised it outside of india
pffft mans a culinary fool


[edit on 14-10-2006 by Marduk]



posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 02:55 PM
link   
The first incident of spoken language came from and expression of disgust by our great ancestor
Him Who Stepped in Mastodon Sh*te


[edit on 14-10-2006 by FallenFromTheTree]



posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 02:13 PM
link   

Originally posted by Cruizer
Sorry but I am failing to see why 2-3-5 or even 8,000 years ago is the only reasonable time for language. If the speech of Neanderthals was not a language what was it? Sophisticated is in the eye of the beholder. If they obviously could convey abstract thought such as burials and grave goods their communication skills were not lacking and their brains were more than adequate.

If not them then Cro-Magnon's influx at some 40,000 years ago was convincingly punctuated by a language to communicate all the aspects of his more complex lifestyle, tool making and manipulation plus social and cultural interaction that ultimately led to established trading.

These may be dead languages now but leaping to just 8,000 years ago to look for the 1st language is strange to me.


Ummm... Why Neanderthals? Apes, their ancestors primitives and lemurs, they too communicate[d] each other. Communication between co-species isn't a language?

Recent research suggested that dolphins communicate each other using their surnames. Isn't it something advanced?

If we continue like this we will eventually end up with viruses since they are the very primitive beings (with RNA) on earth and their language is chemical signals. So the first language is surely protein signals


I am not sure CX is willing to learn this "first language" (Go to the first page of this thread and read CX first post). If he is, I wish him all the best.



posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 03:01 PM
link   


If we continue like this we will eventually end up with viruses since they are the very primitive beings (with RNA) on earth and their language is chemical signals

we already did that several pages ago
the amoeba won hands down



posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 06:18 PM
link   
This is a fascinatiing question. We may not know for certain what the original language was, however we do have a record when the different languages perhaps formed.

www.gotquestions.org...

I'm sure there are those who could argue the Bible's claim, but it can't really be disproved either in my opinion.

It's possible that Hebrew was the original language.


www.ynca.com...




The first spoken command given to mankind appears in Genesis 1:28. Yahweh warned Adam and Eve not to eat of the forbidden fruit (2:16-17). He again spoke to them in chapter 3, and they understood and answered.

Yahweh communicated with Adam and Eve in Hebrew, which is the language of celestial beings and would logically be the original human language. No other tongue but Hebrew is mentioned in Scripture for the earliest of Biblical communication. It is the language of the oldest manuscripts and is the language specifically mentioned when people were spoken to from on high in the Old and New Testaments.



Or it could be Aramaic...

custance.org...




While it may be a disappointment to some Christian readers to discover that Hebrew itself was probably not the original language, it may at the same time be reassuring to remember that our Lord Himself spoke not Hebrew, but Aramaic. This subject is dealt with fully by the well-known Orientalist, Edouard Naville, in his book, The Archaeology of the Old Testament: Was the Old Testament written in Hebrew? (39) His conclusion is in accordance, save for some minor details, with the views of Delitzsch.



[edit on 15-10-2006 by Southern Belle]



posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 08:06 PM
link   
Its already been proven that Noah is based on a sumerian story
therefore Aramiac which is derived from Aram, the fifth son of Shem, the firstborn of Noah is not the oldest language
likewise Hebrew didn't exist until around the 12th century when it developed from Phoenecian
www.livescience.com...
these two facts taken together should tell you by now that anything in the bible is fiction based on stories from an earlier culture
you were very quick to mention the tower of Babel but don't seem able to comprehend that it was a Mesopotamian Ziggurat
Sumerian is still officially the oldest written language on earth
all this has already been mentioned in this thread
perhaps you should read it next time before forwarding your religious belief into a scientific arena


those of you who know the chronology of the bible and specifically the Exodus should now have a huge question that you want to ask
if Hebrew didn't exist around 1500bce then what language were the ten commandments written in
here is the original version of Exodus 35,1



And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: 'These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.
And the congregation did say "what is the first law of God" master
And moses did reply "something something something, Kill" i think




posted on Oct, 15 2006 @ 09:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by Marduk
Its already been proven that Noah is based on a sumerian story
therefore Aramiac which is derived from Aram, the fifth son of Shem, the firstborn of Noah is not the oldest language
likewise Hebrew didn't exist until around the 12th century when it developed from Phoenecian


Over 270 ancient civilizations have stories and historical records about the Great Flood
members.aol.com...

Continued...

www.crystalinks.com...




[edit on 15-10-2006 by Southern Belle]



new topics

top topics



 
5
<< 2  3  4    6  7  8 >>

log in

join