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Researchers use computer program to reconstruct ancient languages

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posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 04:42 PM
I realize a thread was posted on this topic earlier today by hp1229 here: Ancient languages reconstructed by computer program.
But this is really awesome in my opinion. And if we can have hundreds of Sandy Hook threads, I don't think it's going to hurt anyone if we bring a little more attention to a breakthrough such as this.

Languages have evolved over the years, and some have ended up dying off completely. However, these extinct languages are still around today thanks to documentation, and researchers are now trying to reconstruct these ancient languages using a modified version Rosetta Stone, a computer program that teaches users how to speak a different language.

The team of researchers reconstructed a set of protolanguages from a database of more than 142,000 words from 637 Austronesian languages, which are spoken in Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and parts of continental Asia.... Researchers believe that these languages were spoken about 7,000 years ago.

For anyone who is interested in ancient languages, this should be very interesting. I am not very knowledgeable myself about languages, but I enjoy the ways they can be very similar and extremely different at the same time. And I like learning about them. Not to mention just old things in general.

Additionally, when I first saw this story earlier in the morning it reminded me of this great thread I came across shortly after I joined ATS. What was the first language? This thread is packed full of lots of good information. If you find languages interesting you will certainly appreciate the read.


posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 05:36 PM
There is a scene in the movie Prometheus where the android David talks about studying all the languages of the world to come up with a root language that he believed he could use to speak to the alien race that created us.

Who knows, someday we may come up with a similar understanding of the earliest languages using programs such as that in your OP.

I couldn't find the scene I was talking about, but here is a scene of him speaking with the "engineer" as they are called in the film.

ETA: I'm guessing a mod felt the vid was slightly off-topic? No argument from me, but they usually notify, or make a comment to that end. Strange.

edit on 2/12/2013 by Klassified because: clarify

edit on 2/12/2013 by Klassified because: eta

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:02 PM
Very interesting, but I hope the thing works better than Google Translate! When I was a caseworker, we would often have our Spanish language interpreter unavailable, so in a pinch I would try to use the Google Translate on my smart phone with the clients. The "conversation" would usually culminate in not only them not knowing WTH I was talking about, but hysterical laughter by all in the room!

When I demonstrated what I did with the interpreter there, it was even more laughter.

posted on Feb, 12 2013 @ 09:32 PM
reply to post by watchitburn

Thanks for posting this

I love language morphology. Especially old stuff like this. Made my day on ATS!

posted on Feb, 13 2013 @ 06:44 PM
Great thread.

posted on Feb, 17 2013 @ 01:03 PM
I think the subject of ancient languages is fascinating.

I'm currently reading a book called "A History of Ancient Britain" by Neil Oliver, in which he charts the history of the British Isles from when humans recolonised this land after the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago all the way until the departure of the Romans in 43AD.

And when I read in the book all about Stonehenge or Skara Brae or neolithic stone circles or burial mounds or Bronze Age copper mines in North Wales I often think: "What languages did those ancient Britons speak over all those millennia?"

The answer is that we just don't know. It's a complete mystery and, for some reason, I just think it's fascinating just to imagine what languages these people spoke and what the grammar of their languages was like.
edit on 17-2-2013 by Sicksicksick because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-2-2013 by Sicksicksick because: (no reason given)

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