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Two questions: 1. WHY should a "new speaking population ... created by a small group tak[e] only part of the language with them..."? 2. WHY should the original small group create a language more complex (phonemically rich) than any subsequent language over 50,000 years of evolution? I do not believe that there is any significant evidence for this behavior in languages - other than the gradual elision/deprecation of any language over time, which is independent of migration/exodus. Atkinson's work is fantastically thorough, although much of the MCMC/Bayesian anlysis is beyond my comprehension. However, while the analysis may have delicately teased a needle from the haystack, it may also have conjured a chain of African rabbits from a Bayesian hat.
Toggle Commented May 3, 2011 on Last Common Language was in Africa at Babel's Dawn
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May 3, 2011