Dear Mariano,
I agree that the boundaries between language and dialect is very fuzzy as is true for the divisions among closely related languages.  If Generative Linguistics states that there is one "original" language, then I also "might" be in agreement.  All languages show similarity in vocabulary, syntax, pitch etc. while at the same time exhibiting differences in a form not unlike dialectical uniqueness.  The more remote one language is from another, the more unique it will become.
I also see a similarity between Language Origins and Species Origins.  Neanderthal and Homo sapiens share many common characteristics yet these traits are less different from those exhibited by Homo habilis and Homo sapiens.  The further back in time we go, we see a reduction in this similarity (Australopithecus afarensis is less similar to Homo sapiens than is Homo heidelbergensis and Hs).
As far as "extinction" in languages, vocabulary may change as well as syntax but a language never fully disappears because certain rhythms, vocabulary, or structures remain in the minds of descendants.  The same "may" also be true for biological "extinction".
Best wishes,
----- Original Message -----
From: Mariano De Vierna y Carles-Tolrà
Sent: Monday, March 24, 2003 10:45 AM
Subject: Re: [language-origins] Fw: [Nostratica] [Fwd:Re: In Click Languages, an Echo of the Tongues of the Ancients [long]]

I think that the answer can not be yes and can not be no, but it is a lesser degree of error in
saying no.
I lack much of the knowledge that I would like to have to write about this in a detailed manner,
nevertheless I hope to write contribute to think about it.
Before this question it is needed to clarify what is meant by *a language* or a *mother tongue*,
the distinction between a language and dialect is not a clear one. Generative linguisticians hold
and I agree in this with them, that there is only one language and that the different languages
of the world are just instances of this language. But, this, to me, means that we can understand
that all languages share a coherence or consistence between them, such that we can expect to
communicate with any human despite of witch particular mother tongue such human has, may be
at the start just a little but progressively learning either language the ability to communicate would
I think that at the time evolution leads to a sufficient degree of intelligence still culture has not yet
fully developed and due to the lack of communication between human communities of the past
these would have reached independently and more than once enough cultural maturity
develope languages, so that these language would have originated independently. We have
the as a posibly near analogue in the origing of writting systems, some systems like ideographic
systems have originated more than once, also the so called syllabaries have originated from
than once either in from different ideographic systems or from the same ideographic system,
last, phonological systems might have been originated only one time or may be two times.
Present day writing systems show some mixing of symbols, for example the symbols <?> or <!>
are seen also in Chinese or Japanese, the Indian symbols for numbers <0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 ,7 ,8 ,9>
are used all over the world mixed with all writing systems
I think that many of the oral language symbols could have developed in a very similar way to
writing symbols, that is from figurative or mimic symbolizations to more abstract symbolizations.
And also some groups borrowing symbols from the symbols used by other groups. I think it
is particularly important the level of knowledge and culture for a mother tongue to become a
model for others; more important that political or military domination. 
So my view is that the languages of the past had less similarities than the languages of the
present, because a historical process in witch languages integrate between them and share
some of their original particular features.
Languages change in some centuries, the more in some millennia. The species also change, after
we can not say 100 000 or 500 000 years there will be not Homo sapiens sapiens, not because
but because evolution; this is a possible fact very often forgotten.

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