The origin of languages is a key part of how we became the species that we are today. And knowledge of the history of each language group allows us to track the migration patterns of humans millenia ago.
I have written before about ur-symbols, the origins of Indo-European, and other linguistic ideas. Now, we have exciting new research on the origin and dispersal of TransEurasian languages such as Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, and Turkish.
“This language family’s beginnings were traced to Neolithic millet farmers in the Liao River valley, an area encompassing parts of the Chinese provinces of Liaoning and Jilin and the region of Inner Mongolia. As these farmers moved across north-eastern Asia over thousands of years, the descendant languages spread north and west into Siberia and the steppes and east into the Korean peninsula and over the sea to the Japanese archipelago … The findings illustrate how humankind’s embrace of agriculture after the ice age powered the dispersal of some of the world’s major language families. Millet was an important early crop as hunter-gatherers transitioned to an agricultural lifestyle.”