[Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory]

The Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory (ASLIP) is a nonprofit organization, incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its purpose is to encourage and support the study of language in prehistory in all fields and by all means, including research on the early evolution of human language, supporting conferences, setting up a data bank, and publishing a newsletter and a journal to report these activities.


The next ASLIP Annual Meeting
will be held on
May 10, 2007, 12 p.m.
Sanskrit Department, 1 Bow Street, Cambridge  MA
map;detailed map
                                                                                                                        (call 617-496 2990  to get into the building)


NEXT ASLIP CONFERENCE: Round Table on South and Central Asia  (linguistics, mythology): May 9, 2008,  9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. (1 Bow Street, Cambridge)

RECENT Conference,  published in Mother Tongue XI:

ASLIP conference on Asian and  Sahulland Languages, Isolates and  Substrates (Harvard,. Oct. 20-21, 2006), see:



8th ESCA Round Table (Comparative Mythology),  Peking University, May 10-13, 2006 : program ; abstracts

7th ROUND TABLE  on the Ethnogenesis of South and  Central Asia (ESCA): 7th Round Table   (Kyoto. RHIN: June 6-8, 2005)

Linguistic Databases and Linguistic Taxonomy Workshop, Santa Fe Institute, Jan 6-10, 2003

Project on Comparative Mythology (Harvard Asia Ctr. 2003-2006) Details;  7th ESCA Round Table (Kyoto 2005)

The 6th Round Table on Ethnogenesis of South and  Central Asia, May 8-10, 2004  (Archaeology, Linguistics, Genetics, Texts, Mythology)
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~sanskrit/RoundTableSchedule.html  --5th Harvard Round Table  - 4th Round Table and  3rd Round Table online papers

MOTHER TONGUE X has been published in Dec. 2005

LONG RANGER, vol. 34b in August 2003

Comparative Mythology Project (Harvard, 2003--); details;  see also 6th and 7th Round Tables

Our Journal, 1995-


vol.1 (1995) contents

vol.2 (1996) contents

vol.3 (1997) contents

vol.4 (1998) contents

vol. 5 (1999) contents

Introduction to Vol. V 

Extra vol. on South Asia
(Oct. 1999)

Vol. 6 (2000/2001)

Vol. 7 (2002)

Vol. 8 (2003)

Vol. 9  (2004)

Vol.10 (2005)

ISSN 1087-0326

  Our Newletter, 1986-


Mother Tongue Newsletter


Available on the web:  Vols. 25   *  26   *  27 * 29 * 30  * 31  * 32  * 33

NEW:   Vol.34a (2003)  * Vol. 34b (2003)

 NB: under construction, more to come 
Our discussion list: MOTHER TONGUE Our email List  on Yahoo: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MTLR/
To join, go to Yahoo or send  a message to:  witzel@fas.harvard.edu

DATA BASES AND WORD LISTS: Southworth-Witzel South Asian substrate langauge  A.V. Hayes (Austric),  D.Stampe  Munda & Mon-Khmer,   A. Lubotsky  (various Indo-European languages),  R. Turner: Indo-Aryan   S. Starostin ( Etymologies of: Altaic,  Chinese,  Chuckee-Kamchatkan,  Dravidian,   North Caucasian,  Yenesseian, , Semitic, Sino-Tibetan),    Burrow-Emenau : Dravidian   P. Whitehouse (various languages, to come), B.K.Rana  (Kusunda wordlist, to come, cf. paper); SARVA (Indian substrate languages);  cf. also:

The Rosetta Project  (J. Mason)  *   Intercontinental Dictionary  Series & hist. ling. of S.E. Asia (I. Peiros)


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[s]--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 figured out 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..."

(Introduction, Mother Tongue, 
Journal of the Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory1, 1995, 1) 


Membership & Members' websites ·LONG RANGER (Mother Tongue) Newsletter · Cognate Sites ·Comments

This page was developed and is maintained by Michael Witzel
Initial input and design by LEO is gratefully acknowledged
December 21, 1999
Sept. 2003