The Roots of Westerns Languages Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein According to the American linguist Joseph Greenberg (who Rudgley notes is somewhat controversial), most of the thousands of human languages can be classified into just 17 linguistic groupings. The Mother Tongue of virtually all Western languages, including the Iranian, Indian, Slavic, Celtic, Germanic, Italic, Greek, Lithuanian, and Albanian language groups, is considered to be Indo-European.  With over two billion speakers and 140 languages, this Indo- European linguistic group is the largest modern-day language grouping. It has been shown that in Proto-Indo- European (the root language) there are many words dealing with agriculture and husbandry.  This suggests that Proto-Indo-Europeans were Neolithic peoples with an economy based on food production.  However, other linguists are pushing the frontiers of spoken language further and further back to what they believe may have been a Proto- Global language or family of languages that might argue for the beginning of spoken language as far back as 40,000 years ago.  By contrast, written script can so far be traced only to about 5,000 years ago, although again some researchers have found evidence of Ice Age markings that may have had meaning that has as yet not been deciphered. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily