Thought-provoking article in last week's Economist on the evolution of language. New research appears to confirm the theory that all languages originated in Africa. Just as humanity's origins demonstrate that the farther you get from that continent, the less diverse, genetically-speaking, are the people, so with language itself. Looking at phonemes rather than genes, new research shows that the less widely spoken a language is, the fewer the phonemes it has. As groups of people have ventured ever farther from their African homeland their phonemic repertoires have dwindled, just as their genetic ones did.