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  •  Ice Age English (9+ / 0-)

    Science: English May Have Retained Words From an Ice Age Language

    p sound frequently changes to f, and the t sound to th—suggesting that the Latin word pater is, well, the father of the English word father. Linguists use these known rules to work backward in time, making a best guess at how the protoword sounded. They also track the rate at which words change. Using these phylogenetic principles, some researchers have dated many common words as far back as 9000 years ago...

    Some researchers, including Pagel, believe that the world's languages are united by even older superfamilies, but this view is hotly contested.


    The words not, that, we, who, and give were cognates in five families, and nouns and verbs including mother, hand, fire, ashes, worm, hear, and pull, were shared by four. Going by the rate of change of these cognates, the model suggests that these words have remained in a similar form since about 14,500 years ago, thus supporting the existence of an ancient Eurasiatic language and its now far-flung descendants.

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