Mission Statement

The Mission of the Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory

ASLIP was founded in 1986 to encourage international interdisciplinary information-sharing, discussion, and debate among biogeneticists, paleoanthropologists, archaeologists, and historical linguists on questions relating to the emerging synthesis on language origins and ancestral human spoken languages. According to the founder of ASLIP, Harold C. Fleming,

All known human spoken languages [probably] are genetically related to each other as descendants of the first invention: Ur-Human or Proto-Language. One test of that is to show a taxonomy of human languages, convincing to linguists, which makes possible a universal family tree and ultimately the reconstructions of major cultural events associated with the evolution of modern people. Another corollary is that the complex evolution of physical humans, population movements, and shared mutations, can be reconstructed and related to a universal family tree, which can be dated and located to its roots. Finally, tests of these theories can be made through archaeological discoveries…” 

The goal of our enterprise is to seek the truth as it pertains to the emerging synthesis about modern human origins. ASLIP and its journal,  Mother Tongue, are not committed to any single proposition.


Inscription from the tomb of Darius, Naghsh-e rostam, Iran. Extracted from a photo created by Diego Delso in 2016. (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license)