Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/186

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of that brunet Mediterranean race (round-barrow men) which once occupied most of western and southern Europe and western Asia, and which may have been very closely related to the Dravidians of India and the peoples with a heliolithic culture who spread eastward thence through the East Indies to Polynesia and beyond.

It is quite possible that over western and southern Europe language groups extended 10,000 years ago that have completely vanished before Aryan tongues. Later on we shall note, in passing, the possibility of three lost language groups represented by (1) Ancient Cretan, Lydian, and the like (though these may have belonged, says Sir H. H. Johnston, to the "Basque-Caucasian-Dravidian (!) group"), (2) Sumerian, and (3) Elamite. The suggestion has been made—it is a mere guess—that ancient Sumerian may have been a linking language between the early Basque-Caucasian and early Mongolian groups. If this is true, then we have in this "Basque-Caucasian-Dravidian-Sumerian-proto-Mongolian" group a still more ancient and more ancestral system of speech than the fundamental Hamitic.

The Hottentot language is said to have affinities with the Hamitic tongues, from which it is separated by the whole breadth of Bantu-speaking central Africa. A Hottentot-like language with Bushman affinities is still spoken in equatorial east Africa, and this strengthens the idea that the whole of east Africa was once Hamitic-speaking. The Bantu languages and peoples spread, in comparatively recent times, from some center of origin in west central Africa and cut off the Hottentots from the other Hamitic peoples. But it is at least equally probable that the Hottentot is a separate language group.

Among other remote and isolated little patches of language are the Papuan speech of New Guinea and the native Australian. The now extinct Tasmanian language is little known. What we know of it is in support of what we have guessed about the comparative speechlessness of Palæolithic man.

We may quote a passage from Hutchinson's Living Races of Mankind upon this matter:—

"The language of the natives is irretrievably lost, only imperfect indication of its structure and a small proportion of its