Know : When did Languages Start? A time line…

15,000 B.C. – Lesaux, France Cave Drawings. Historians date them to be from around 15,000 B.C.

6,000 B.C. – Proto-Indo-European language develops. Sixty Romance, Slavic, Celtic, Indo-Iranian, Germanic and Hellenic languages are all thought to have evolved from this one language. They are the first languages for about a third of all people.

5,000 B.C. –The first writing appears in Sumer. It evolves into the wedge-shaped writing style called cuneiform. Cuneiform was originally used to record things like trade.

3,400 B.C. – The Egyptians are using hieroglyphics and hieratic writing. Hieratic writing is a quick, cursive style of hieroglyphics.

3,000 B.C. – The Proto-Indo-European language is spreading out to Europe and Asia where other groups of languages will eventually evolve.

2,000 B.C. – The Greek language appears around this time. In Egypt, an early alphabetic writing was invented by Semitic laborers.

1,600 B.C. – The Phoenicians develop a phonetic alphabet.

1,200 B.C. – Chinese writing develops and is very complex. Writing is found on oracle bones. These are found in 1899 and explain much about Chinese culture.

800 B.C. – Egyptians use demotic writing. It’s a developed version of hieratic writing, much more like handwriting. Looking at it, you can hardly tell that it had evolved all the way from hieroglyphics.

500 B.C. – Classical Chinese are written on bamboo strips, cloth, and wooden tables.

400 B.C. – The first real grammar is used in India in a document on the structure of the Sanskrit language.

400 B.C. – The Qin script makes the main writing of China by the first emperor of the Qin dynasty. Previously, many different dialects of Chinese were used.

200 B.C. – The Tolkappiyam is written to explain the grammar of the Tamil language. It introduces ideas of separating words into verbs and nouns and talks about the alphabet having vowels and consonants.

200 B.C. – The Roman Empire conquers all of Italy, almost all of Europe, and some of Africa and Asia. This directly results in the development of the Romance languages – Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian.

179 B.C. – The Rosetta stone is written and has three languages written on it – Greek, Demotic, and Hieroglyphics. It has the same paragraph written in all three languages and was later used to decode Egyptian hieroglyphics.

1370 A.D. – The Bible is translated into English. This made it possible for the common people being able to read it.

1456 A.D. – The first printing press is invented in Germany by Johann Gutenberg. This makes the books much more available increasing literacy.

1755 A.D. – The Dictionary of the English Language Is written by Samuel Johnson. It gives the standardized spelling of the English Language.

1799 A.D. – The Rosetta stone is found in Egypt by the French. By using the Greek on it, they are able to translate the hieroglyphics and demotic writing on it.

1880 A.D. – Dr. Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof develops Esperanto, a universal language that he hopes will create harmony between people from different countries.

1916 A. D. – Ferdinand de Saussure, a French linguist, writes A Course in General Linguistics. He theorizes that language is a socially organized structure of meanings and rules.

1936 A.D. – The British philosopher A. J. Ayer writes Language, Truth, and Logic. He states that language is shared knowledge and confirmed through experience.

2000 A.D. – Languages from around the world start disappearing at an alarming rate. Some experts estimate as rapidly as one every 2 weeks.

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