The Public Broadcasting Service has featured an episode of “Nova” which examined the phenomenal discoveries of linguists in Russia and America who have shown that all languages could have come from a single, ancient source, just as the Bible says it did.
Despite the noticeable liberal media bias in the episode, the confirmation of the biblical story of the Tower of Babel and the scattering of the languages was nevertheless astounding. But there is far more than a single PBS special to prove the truthfulness of the Babel story. Genesis 11:1 tells us that “The whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.” When the human race tried to build an enormous ziggurat up to heaven to challenge God, He confused their languages and scattered them across the earth (Gen. 11:1-9)
All languages, then, originally came from this mother tongue, this proto-world language.
Absurd, say the critics. But it’s true, say modern Russian linguists and American geneticists. The cover of the Nov. 5, 1990 issue of US News and World Report magazine announced “The Roots of Language-how modern speech evolved from a single, ancient source.” Modern linguists, particularly in the former Soviet Union, “are reconstructing the pathways by which the world’s roughly 5,000 languages arose from a handful of ancient ‘mother’ tongues. A few radical linguists have gone even further, claiming they have reconstructed pieces of the mother of them all: the original language spoken at the dawn of the human species.“‘
Beginning in the late 1700’s, linguists came to realize that the majority of languages of Europe and India were related. This proto-language became known as Indo-European, the mother tongue of Latin, Greek, Russian, English, Hindi, Sanskrit, German, Gaelic, Persian, Polish, etc. They were able to trace the Indo-European language backwards, using the common words shared by these diverse languages.
However, as it turns out, the lineage of common root words does not stop at the Indo-European mother tongue. Linguists have discovered that Altic (the mother tongue of the languages of eastern Asia) and Afro-Asiatic (the mother tongue of the Semitic and Hamitic languages), together with Indo-European, apparently all derive from an even more ancient grandmother tongue, which two Soviet scientists dubbed “Nostratic.”