Linguists believe all forms of language today derived from East Africa 50,000 years ago. Research now shows that the original human language probably sounded a lot like the green jedi master Yoda from Star Wars.

Because of the arrangement of our words, directors of the Santa Fe Institute Program on the Evolution of Human Languages believe our language originates from a particular ordering of words. The English language follows a subject-verb-object ordering. We would say, I like apples. Early humans, they believe, used a subject-object-verb arrangement. The same sentence would then read, I apples like.

From creating a language family tree, co-directors Murray Gell-Mann and Merritt Ruhlen determined the historical relationships all the languages in our world shared. They recognized a pattern from the tree showing how derived languages were categorized according to their word orders. The pattern was far from random, which supports their theory that all these languages derived from the same subject-object-verb ordering.

Indeed, it is fascinating that out of the six possible word arrangements, languages switch the orders as they evolve distinctly. The linguistic study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.