Researchers have managed to piece together a new tool that was specially developed in order to help it reconstruct long-dead languages, where it is also known as protolanguages. Protolanguages are considered to be the ancient tongues from which our modern languages have evolved from. In order to test out this particular system, the research team took 637 languages that are currently spoken in Asia and the Pacific, followed up by recreating the early language from which they descended from.

At this point in time, language reconstructions are carried out by linguists, and it is definitely a slow and labor intensive process. Dan Klein, an associate professor at the University of California, Berkeley, said,”It’s very time consuming for humans to look at all the data. There are thousands of languages in the world, with thousands of words each, not to mention all of those languages’ ancestors. It would take hundreds of lifetimes to pore over all those languages, cross-referencing all the different changes that happened across such an expanse of space – and of time. But this is where computers shine.”

The question does arise, is it possible to go beyond the many protolanguages, to the very first protolanguage that ever existed?

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