CARTA: Behaviorally Modern Humans: The Origin of Us – Christopher Ehret: Relationships of Ancient African Languages

8/2/2013; 20 minutes

CARTA: Behaviorally Modern Humans: The Origin of Us – Christopher Ehret: Relationships of Ancient African Languages
Almost all of the more than 1,000 African languages spoken today belong to just four families – Afroasiatic, Niger-Kordofanian, Nilo-Saharan, and Khoesan. As these language families spread out across the continent in the early Holocene, they gradually drove out hundreds of other languages that used to be spoken in Africa. Christopher Ehret (UCLA) reflects on the relationships of these languages to the existing African families and to the language families of the rest of the world, and asks what this information can tell us about human origins and early human history.
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