The field of science that has made the emergence of language a subject of research and has attracted great interest in recent years. The origin of language became much more curious, especially after the great cognitive revolution after 1950. In 1866, a proposal was made in Paris to ban research on the origin of language, but after Darwin’s revolution in biology in the 19th century, the origin and diversification of languages, like living things, began to be studied.
Before, unscientific narratives were common. In the Chinese, a water turtle came to the emperor and taught it, carrying the secret of writing in striped shapes on its back. In the Babylonians, a half-fish, half-human sea monster emerged from water and taught themselves writing… In the Indians, the chief-god Brahma created the world and the beings in it through Vâk, one of his own appearances and considered the god of human language. In the Egyptians, the chief-god Ra fulfilled his wishes through his own language and the god Tôt, whom he regarded as his messenger. In the Hebrews, God assigned Adam to name the creatures he created. Each one has a different name according to the way Adam invokes all living things… After the Flood, there was only one language in the world. The people began to build a tower towards the sky in Babylon to reach the level of God.
God then confused the language of the people and scattered them all over the world. Some views based on speculation were also being voiced in Europe. Max Müller compiled these speculative assumptions (Ding-dong, Bow-wow, Pooh-pooh, Ta-ta, Ye-he-ho) in the 19th century. These assumptions, translated into Turkish with names such as “business theory, reflection theory, exclamation theory”, were intuitive views that were not based on scientific data. Studies of the origin and evolution of language gained momentum especially after N. Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar (Generative Transformational Grammar) after 1950. Chomsky suggested that language is uniquely human and arose with a single mutation some 100,000 years ago.
He also did not see natural selection as an adequate explanation for the origin and evolution of language. This brought about a great controversy. Many researchers, who argued that a complex structure like language cannot be explained by a single mutation, criticized Chomsky with findings from different fields such as biology, archeology and genetics. N. Chomsky also made publications explaining his views on the subject in a more consistent way with natural selection. Today, there are contradictions regarding the origin of language.
Culture-Biology opposition: According to a group led by Chomsky, language is a biological phenomenon and the environment’s share in its evolution is limited. According to names such as M. Tomasello and M. Corballis, language is primarily a cultural phenomenon and has evolved under the influence of environmental conditions.
Early – Late contrast: While Chomsky takes the language as far back as 100,000 years ago, researchers in the opposite group state that language is the result of millions of years of evolution.
Continuity – Sudden contrast: Chomsky and his circle claim that language emerged suddenly. Researchers like D. Everrett, on the other hand, argue that language emerged not in a single moment, but with continuity for many years.
Movement – Sound contrast: According to researchers like M. Corballis, language is derived from gestures and mimics. A group of researchers searches for the basis of language in sounds.
Only human versus other living things: According to N. Chomsky and his environment, language is peculiar to human beings (Homo sapiens) and the communication styles of other living things give us no idea about the origin and evolution of language. Researchers like P. Lieberman argue that animal communication systems are important in demonstrating the beginner level of human language.
The origin and evolution of language has become increasingly popular today as an interdisciplinary field. Many scientists from archeology to genetics work in this field.
“Languages spoken in the world and names of countries”
History of languages and number of countries spoken, names of countries in order.
01 Abkhazia 02 Afghanistan 03 Germany 04 United States 05 Andorra 06 Angola 07 Antigua and Barbuda 08 Argentina 09 Albania 10 Australia 11 Austria 12 Azerbaijan 13 Bahamas 14 Bahrain 15 Bangladesh 16 Barbados 17 Western Sahara 18 Belgium 19 Belize 20 Benin 21 Belarus 22 Bhutan 23 United Arab Emirates 24 Bolivia 25 Bosnia Herzegovina 26 Botswana 27 Brazil 28 Brunei 29 Bulgaria 30 Burkina Faso 31 Burundi 32 Algeria 33 Djibouti 34 Chad 35 Czech Republic
36 People’s Republic of China 37 Nagorno-Karabakh Republic 38 Denmark 39 East Timor 40 Dominica 42 Dominica 42 Ecuador 43 Equatorial Guinea 44 El Salvador 45 Indonesia 46 Eritrea 47 Armenia 48 Estonia 49 Ethiopia 50 Morocco 51 Fiji 52 Ivory Coast 53 Philippines 54 Palestine 55 Finland 56 France 57 Gabon 58 Gambia 59 Ghana 60 Guinea 61 Guinea Bissau Guinea Bissau West Africa 62 Grenada 63
Guyana 64 Guatemala 65 Republic of South Africa 66 South Korea 67 South Ossetia 68 South Sudan 69 Georgia 70 Haiti 71 Croatia 72 India 73 Netherlands 74 Honduras 75 Iraq 76 England 77 Iran 78 Ireland 79 Spain 80 Israel 81 Sweden 82 Switzerland 83 Italy 84 Iceland 85 Jamaica 86 Japan 87 Cambodia 88 Cameroon 89 Canada 90
Montenegro 91 Qatar 92 Kazakhstan 93 Kenya 94 Kyrgyzstan 95 Cyprus 96 Kiribati 97 Colombia 98 Comoros 99 Congo 100 Congo Democratic Republic 101 Kosovo 102 Costa Rica 103 Kuwait 104 Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus 105 North Korea 106 Cuba 107 Laos 108 Lesotho 109 Latvia 110 Liberia 111 Libya 112 Liechtenstein 113 Lithuania 114 Lebanon 115 Luxembourg 116 Hungary 117 Madagascar 118 Republic of Macedonia 119 Malawi 120 Maldives 121 Malaysia 122
Mali 123 Malta 124 Marshall Islands 125 Mexico 126 Egypt 127 Micronesia 128 Mongolia 129 Moldova 130 Monaco 131 Mauritania 132 Maurius 133 Mozambique 134 Myanmar 135 Namibia 136 Nauru 137 Nepal 138 139 Niger 140 Nigeria 141 Norway 142 Central African Republic 143 Uzbekistan 144 Pakistan 145 Palau 146 Panama 147 Papua 148 Paraguay 149 Peru 150 Poland 151 Portugal 152 Puerto Rico 153 Romania 154 Rwanda 155 Russian Federation 156 Saint Kitts 157 Saint Lucia 158 Saint Vincent and Grenadines 159 Samoa 160 San Marino 161
Sao Tome and Principe 162 Sealand 163 Senegal 164 Seychelles 165 Serbia 166 Sierra Leone 167 Singapore 168 Slovakia 169 Slovenia 170 Solomon Islands 171 Somalia 172 Somaliland 173 Sri Lanka 174 Sudan 175 Suriname 176 Syria 177 Saudi Arabia 178 Swaziland 179 Chile 180 Tajikistan 181 Tanzania 182 Thailand 183 Tayvan192 184 Togo 185 Tonga 186 Transnistria 187 Trinidad and Tobago 188 Tunisia
189 Tuvalu 190 Turkey 191 Turkmenistan 192 Uganda 193 Ukraine 194 Oman 195 Uruguay 196 Jordan 197 Vanuatu 198 Vatican City 199 Venezuela 200 Vietnamese 201 Yemen 202 New Zealand 203 Cape Verde 204 Greece 205 Zambia 206 Zimbabwe