Daily Archives: April 15, 2011

Human language originated only in southern Africa, new study argues

The Washington Post reports:

Human language arose only once, in southern Africa, a first-of-its-kind analysis of world languages suggests.

Verbal communication then spread across the globe as humans walked out of Africa, reaching Australia and New Zealand last…

Quentin Atkinson, a psychologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, traced language’s origin by breaking down 504 world languages into their smallest components, called phonemes.

Atkinson’s study has been published in the journal Science.