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This question was prompted by this newspaper article saying:

Languages spoken by billions of people across Europe and Asia are descended from an ancient tongue uttered in southern Europe at the end of the last ice age, according to research...by scientists in Britain, [and] points to a common origin for vocabularies as varied as English and Urdu, Japanese and Itelmen, a language spoken along the north-eastern edge of Russia.

Linguistics conventionally divide human languages into families. For example the Indo-European family which contains Latin, Sanskrit and Greek amongst others.

However it seems to me that all languages must be related in the same way that all life on Earth is related even though there are marked similarities between certain species.

I cannot see how, even taking into account Chomskys idea of a universal grammar intrinsic to the human mind, how a language can spontaneously develop in total absence of another human being simply because a human babies and infants are utterly helpless and dependent. (Is there any evidence of this ever occurring)?

That is there is always spoken linguistic continuity.

Is this correct? Or am I missing something? Or is it a trite truth?

The point of the question, is that if Chomskys Universal Grammar hypothesis is correct, and I suspect it is; then language contrary to the above hypothesis orginated where Man originated - in the African continent and marched out of it when he did too.

closed as off topic by iphigenie, Michael Dorfman, Niel de Beaudrap, Ben, Dennis May 9 '13 at 13:11

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  • Related, but not about single isolated humans: forbes.com/2005/10/19/… – user3164 May 7 '13 at 5:20
  • @Gugg: Interesting case studies. I've come across it before in some other context. I think that it is evidence for Chomskys universal grammar. I'll change my question to spoken linguistic continuity. – Mozibur Ullah May 7 '13 at 5:43
  • Related, still not about single isolated humans, but with mute parents and a TV, single negative case: earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/… – user3164 May 7 '13 at 5:53
  • @Gugg: I don't think that counts. Presumably the mute parents can listen and so TV is part of their lingustic community. – Mozibur Ullah May 7 '13 at 5:57
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    @Gugg: I've read that part of the article. The story isn't referenced in the bibliography at the end. Frankly, I'm a little incredulous. Did these parents have no friends, no relatives to show off the baby to? Was there no nurse to check on the baby development. Presumably some professionals were involved otherwise the scientific team wouldn't have been notified. How long did the observation go on for? If it was for a substantial length of time - then it would seem to go against basic medical ethics. – Mozibur Ullah May 7 '13 at 6:57