Words for 'canoe' point to long-lost family ties

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An obscure language in Siberia has similarities to languages in North America, which might reshape history, writes Randy Boswell.

A new book by leading linguists has bolstered a controversial theory that the language of Canada's Dene Nation is rooted in an ancient Asian tongue spoken today by only a few hundred people in Western Siberia.

The landmark discovery, initially proposed two years ago by U.S. researcher Edward Vajda, represents the only known link between any Old World language and the hundreds of speech systems among First Nations in the Western Hemisphere.

The collection of articles by Vajda and other experts details a multitude of clear connections -- nouns, verbs and key grammatical structures -- between the language spoken by the Ket people of Russia's Yenisei River region and dozens of languages used by North American aboriginal groups....

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