LINGUIST List 14.2498

Sun Sep 21 2003

Media: Re Genetic Clicks: Article

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Marc Picard, Genetic Clicks

Message 1: Genetic Clicks

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 17:15:49 -0400
From: Marc Picard <>
Subject: Genetic Clicks

Re Linguist 14.2493
Stephen Schaufele wrote:

> In this month's issue of _Discover_, there's an item about some
> research by geneticists Alec Knight and Joanna Mountain, originally
> reported in March in _Current Biology_, on the presence of clicks in
> the languages of the Hadzabe people of Tanzania and the Juj'haonsi of
> `southwestern Africa' (Namibia? can't seem to find it in my copy of
> the _Ethnologue_). It is apparently suggested that the fact that
> these two ethnic groups, otherwise quite unrelated to each other
> (genetically), both have clicks in their languages must mean that the
> clicks are inherited from the language of their last common ancestor,
> which Knight & Mountain estimate must have flourished over 40,000
> years ago.

You can find a synopsis of this proposal at 
Don't let it spoil your weekend.

Marc Picard
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