November 8, 1998
Web posted at: 7:21 p.m. EST (0021 GMT)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A few words in one of
the planet's most obscure languages support
the theory that Native Americans left Asia in
several separate migrations, a linguist said
in an article to be released Monday.
Merritt Ruhlen of Stanford University has
found compelling similarities between Ket, a
language spoken by just 500 people in remote
Siberia, and Na-Dene, a family of Native
. . .
Ruhlen stumbled onto the link between
Yeniseian and Na-Dene languages while doing
other comparisons. He found striking
"I like (the word for) birch bark quite a
bit," he said in a telephone interview. "It's
so specific. It seems to me that it would be
extremely improbable that two families would
invent the same word for birch bark."
In Ket the word is pronounced something like
"ch'ee" -- a sound hard to transliterate into
English. In several existing Na-Dene languages
it is pronounced similarly.
The words for breast also correlate. In Ket
the word is "tuhguh" and in the Na-Dene
Koyukon language it is "t'uga.'"
Evidence of several migrations
Ruhlen found enough other similarities to
convince him of the link. "I just picked out
36 for this article that looked like the best
and most obvious and strongest," he said.
Adam, Apes and Anthropology
Foundation, Fall and Flood
& lots of creation/evolution information