Source : Korean SAT English 2021 by Korean Education Broadcasting System - 97p.2

Historical linguists study the languages spoken today, and from them make estimates about the ancestral languages from which they descended. Where possible, linguists also work from written records on languages in earlier times. For linguistics (as for genetics), we assume that present data give us the remnants of earlier communities. But the definition of “earlier community” is different in each case. For language, it is assumed that each language has one parent. In genetics a person has more and more ancestors as one goes to earlier generations, while a language has a single ancestor at each stage. The “tree model” of languages presents the range of languages descended from an ancestor, and indicates relationships with other languages descended from the same ancestor. Because of the single ancestor characteristics of the linguistic “tree model,” language gives more evidence on path of early human migration than does genetics, because it allows for fewer possibilities.


  • This question and answer are made by me to practice for expected essay questions in my students’ finals.


Q: Why does language give more evidence on path of early human migration than genetics?
A: Because of the single ancestor characteristics of the linguistic tree model, language allows for fewer possibilities of path of early human migration.

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