[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 last annual ASLIP Meeting
was held on Saturday, November 7, 2015.
Sanskrit Department, 1 Bow Street, 3rd floor, Cambridge  MA 
map; detailed map
Watch this space for the next Annual Meeting,
expected to be held at the Sanskrit Department in Fall 2016.

Previous: some related conferences & meetings, Oct. 3-9, 2010 (South Asia, Comparative Mythology) that include some ASLIP members speaking on Language @ Harvard University. Details at: http://compmyth.org (4th conf.)

Previous ASLIP CONFERENCE: Round Table on South and Central Asia  (linguistics, mythology): May 30-31, 2010 at Kyoto (RIHN), May 9, 2008, Harvard University  

ASLIP conference on Asian and  Sahulland Languages, Isolates and  Substrates: Oct. 20-21, 2006, (Harvard), see: http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/9th-ESCA-announce.htm
Published in Mother Tongue XI


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

Harvard Round Tables (including Linguistics)

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)

Vol. 11 (2006)

Vol. 12 (2007) FS. for Hal Fleming

Vol. 13 (2009)

Vol. 14 (2009) Comm. Vol. for Daniel McCall

Vol. 15 (2010)

Vol. 16 (2011)

Vol. 17 (2012)

ISSN 1087-0326

  Our Newsletter, 1986-



Mother Tongue Newsletter


Available on the web: 

Vols. 25   *  26   *  27 * 29

* 30  * 31  * 32  * 33

Vol. 34a (2003)  * Vol. 34b (2003)

Our discussion list:



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 language, 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,  B.K. Rana  (Kusunda wordlist, to come, cf. paper); SARVA (Indian substrate languages);  cf. also: The Rosetta Project  (J. Mason)  *   Intercontinental Dictionary Series, Ilia Peiros: Linguistic Contacts in Ancient East Asia


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) 

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This page was developed and is maintained by Michael Witzel
Initial input and design by LEO is gratefully acknowledged
December 21, 1999
August 2012