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15,000-Year-Old Words We Still Use

There are words we speak today that cavemen would have understood. Anthony tells us which words these are and why they’re so significant.

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Linguists Identify 15,000-Year-Old “Ultraconserved Words”

“It’s an odd little speech. But if you went back 15,000 years and spoke these words to hunter-gatherers in Asia in any one of hundreds of modern languages, there is a chance they would understand at least some of what you were saying.”

“Ultraconserved Words Point to Deep Language Ancestry Across Eurasia”

“The search for ever deeper relationships among the World’s languages is bedeviled by the fact that most words evolve too rapidly to preserve evidence of their ancestry beyond 5,000 to 9,000 years.”

Indo-European languages:

Italic languages:


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