Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

Spiffydude98 t1_j5uckq8 wrote

With the new indications that several prehistoric cave paintings have written symbols - early written language basically - and the letter Y seems to stand out - are there some legacy language (written or spoken, cultural) elements that are derived from prehistoric times?


mouse_8b t1_j5vi5ui wrote

There's a little ambiguity here, so I'll answer as best I can, but it might also be good to refine the question a little bit.

First, "history" started with writing, so "prehistoric" is anytime before writing, which means up until about 6 thousand years ago.

There are languages still spoken today that are that old (eg Egyptian, Sanskrit, Greek, Chinese). So just based on the fact that those spoken languages are practically prehistoric, then that would count as language elements from prehistoric times.

Further, even newer languages like English can trace words back to Indo-European. Looking at Wikipedia, Indo-European goes back 5k years, so I don't think it's a stretch to say that it retained some elements from prehistory.


Street_843 t1_j5yptie wrote

Who speaks Egyptian today?


mouse_8b t1_j5zm1la wrote

I was quoting from a blog, and almost left that one off the list. It looks like ancient Egyptian evolved to Coptic, which is still spoken by priests, and mixed with Arabic to get Egyptian spoken Arabic.