Today, we had a presentation from Ms. Aoki about Universal Grammar (普遍文法), a theory of grammar and language acquisition developed by Noam Chomsky (ノーム・チョムスキー). You can read a short introduction to Universal Grammar (普遍文法) in Japanese on Wikipedia here.
After the presentation, I mentioned an exhibition in Germany which shows the faces of various human ancestors. You can see a slideshow here: Faces of our Ancestors.
Full-blooded Ainu are lighter skinned than their Japanese neighbors and have more body hair. Many early investigators proposed a Caucasian ancestry, although recent DNA tests have not shown any genetic similarity with moderncaucasian Europeans.
Japanese and Korean are, like Basque, unrelated to other languages.
Recent studies of cognates show that the world’s languages may be related, despite their differences.
There are many theories which try to explain how language began. Some of these theories have funny names: Bow-wow theory, Ding-dong theory, Pooh-pooh theory, Yo-He-Ho theory. (Actually, only the Bow-wow theory is genuine; the others were made up by Bill Bryson.)
“For a long time it was believed that language was simply learned.” (Bryson, 1990, p. 25)