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English language 'took birth' in ancient Turkey

London , Fri, 24 Aug 2012 ANI

London, August 24 (ANI): English has descended from a language that emerged about 8,000 and 9,500 years ago in Turkey, a new study has revealed.

Scientists from New Zealand, have traced the origin of languages classed as Indo-European to Anatolia, an ancient region of western Asia, which now covers most of the modern Turkey, the Daily Mail reported.

English is a part of the Indo-European language family, which includes more than 400 languages and dialects like German, French, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Persian, Hindi and ancient Greek, and all of them are said to have evolved from a common ancestor.

Experts have said that Indo-European languages spread out from the Middle East along with the agriculture.

Scientists led by Remco Bouckaert, from the University of Auckland, traced the origins of the Indo-European languages using a method that they borrowed from evolutionary biologists.

Instead of comparing DNA from different species, the researchers looked at 'cognates' - which are words that have a common origin.

One example is "mother," which is called "mutter" in Germany and in Spanish is equivalent to "madre."

The words are so similar that there must have been a link in the language's history rather than the comparison occurring by chance.

By modelling how hundreds of words evolved through time, the researchers have been able to pinpoint the languages birthplace in what is now modern Turkey.

The research has been published in the journal 'Science.' (ANI)

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