Abstract

Information on historical linguistics can make a substantial contribution to the understanding of early migrations of Homo sapiens within Africa and throughout the world. This essay summarizes the distribution of language groups around the world and applies basic techniques for analyzing the paths of migration associated with language evolution. The analysis relies on the approach of Joseph H. Greenberg to language classification, but it also reviews the continuing differences among linguists on the classification of languages and calls for more study to resolve those differences. The interpretation distinguishes between an initial human colonization of the tropics along Indian Ocean shores and a later occupation of temperate Eurasia and the Americas.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 115-196
Launched on MUSE
2006-05-08
Open Access
No
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