As a lifetime glottophile, I have long been fascinated by the various families of languages that modern cultures use, and of course some of their historical roots and changes over the centuries and millennia.
Today I learned of a few new groupings:
- the Na-Dene family of Native American languages (Navajo is the most widely-spoken at present)
- the Yeniseian languages of the Siberian region (only Ket survives to this day)
- and the Dené–Yeniseian family, which is one of the the first demonstrated links between so-called “Old World” and “New World” languages (the Eskaleut family was already known).
In 2014, a new research paper suggested a common linguistic ancestor between the first two families above.
I do love finding more ways to show how connected we are on this Earth, and common languages, however far back they may reach, can help light the way to a greater understanding of each other in the present.
We really do have more in common with our neighbors at home and abroad than many of us realize. And if seeing that helps anyone empathize a little better today, it seems worth sharing, too.