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Proto-Afroasiatic
Reconstruction ofAfroasiatic languages
RegionSee #Urheimat
Eraca. 16,000–10,000 BC
Lower-order reconstructions

Proto–Afroasiatic, sometimes referred to as Proto-Afrasian, is the reconstructed proto-language from which all modern Afroasiatic languages are descended. Though estimations vary widely, it is believed by scholars to have been spoken as a single language around 12,000 to 18,000 years ago (12 to 18 kya), that is, between 16,000 and 10,000 BC. The reconstruction of Proto-Afroasiatic is problematic and remains largely lacking. Moreover, no consensus exists as to the location of the Afroasiatic Urheimat, the putative homeland of Proto-Afroasiatic speakers.

Urheimat

Postulated expansion of Afroasiatic.

Reconstructed words for fauna and flora and evidence of linguistic contact with language families known to have been spoken in Eurasia suggest that its home was in the Middle East, probably the Levant. Some geneticists and archaeologists have argued for a back migration of proto-Afroasiatic speakers from Western Asia to Africa as early as the 10th millennium BC. They suggest the Natufian culture might have spoken a proto-Afroasian language just prior to its disintegration into sub-languages.[1][2] The hypothesis is supported by the Afroasiatic terms for early livestock and crops in both Anatolia and Iran.proto-language from which all modern Afroasiatic languages are descended. Though estimations vary widely, it is believed by scholars to have been spoken as a single language around 12,000 to 18,000 years ago (12 to 18 kya), that is, between 16,000 and 10,000 BC. The reconstruction of Proto-Afroasiatic is problematic and remains largely lacking. Moreover, no consensus exists as to the location of the Afroasiatic Urheimat, the putative homeland of Proto-Afroasiatic speakers.