> > Also, does he believe the out of africa theory. If heThanks for your reply, Brian. It is generally agreed by most
> > does, he should have made some efforts to search for
> > common roots for all today's languages.
> Not at all. He shared the mainstream view that (1) human
> languages have been spoken for a very long time, probably at
> least 100,000 years, and (2) the rate of linguistic change,
> though quite variable, is great enough that in general a few
> thousand years suffice to obliterate all but the faintest
> traces of common origin of two languages. It follows that
> there is no hope of detecting shared vocabulary that goes
> back to the origin of human language: even if any exists, it
> cannot be identified as such.
> In the last chapter of his textbook _Historical Linguistics_
> (Arnold, 1996) he discusses this and less ambitious attempts
> to establish extremely remote linguistic relationships; you
> might find the discussion instructive.