The origin of language has been much contested. Many theories abound, but none have been accepted yet as the sole determining factor that has given rise to language. Linguists in 26th-dynasty Egypt were just as confused regarding the beginning of communication, as linguists are, in the modern-day. The first recorded language experiment was conducted in Egypt by a Pharaoh named Psammetichus I.
According to a recent study, a biologist found that language most possibly originated in Southwestern Africa, and this was the definitive origin of language as we know it.
The biologist – Quentin D. Atkinson studied the beginning of phonemes instead of entire words, as is usually the practice in attempting to determine the origin of language. Atkinson found that the more one moved further from Africa, the fewer the number of phonemes that survived.
It has been commonly believed thus far that spoken language is some 10,000 years old. However, Atkinson challenges this notion. He says that if the human migration and dispersion out of Africa into parts of Europe and Asia started 60,000 years ago, perhaps, language existed around that time too.
In fact, language may have been a force that spurred on this migration. The findings of Atkinson’s research too is yet to be verified, and one can only speculate still as to where language began.