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The Adamic language is, according to Abrahamic traditions, the language spoken by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Adamic is typically identified with either the language used by God to address Adam, or the language invented by Adam (Book of Genesis 2:19). Jewish tradition typically identifies Hebrew/Aramaic, or some form of ancient Hebrew/Aramaic, as the Adamic language spoken by God and the angels.
Traditional Jewish exegesis such as Midrash (Genesis Rabbah 38) says that Adam spoke Hebrew/Aramaic because the names he gives Eve - "Isha" (Book of Genesis 2:23) and "Chava" (Genesis 3:20) - only make sense in Hebrew/Aramaic, although analogous constructs can be made in any language. By contrast, Kabbalism assumed an "eternal Torah" which was not identical to the Torah written in Hebrew/Aramaic. Thus, Abulafia in the 13th century assumed that the language spoken in Paradise had been different from Hebrew/Aramaic, and rejected the claim then current also among Christian authors, that a child left unexposed to linguistic stimulus would automatically begin to speak in Hebrew/Aramaic.
It is, however, unclear how much from the Biblical perspective this language was preserved by Adam's descendants until the confusion of tongues (Genesis 11:1-9), or whether it began to evolve naturally (Genesis 10:5). There is no ancient claim that the Adamic language was identical to Biblical Hebrew/Biblical Aramaic, for "the Torah was written in the vernacular" of the Israelites (Talmud Sanhedrin 21b).
Eco (1993) notes that Genesis is ambiguous on whether the language of Adam was preserved by Adam's descendants until the confusion of tongues (Genesis 11:1-9), or if it began to evolve naturally even before Babel (Genesis 10:5).
Dante addresses the topic in his De Vulgari Eloquentia. He argues that the Adamic language is of divine origin and therefore unchangeable. He also notes that according to Genesis, the first speech act is due to Eve, addressing the serpent, and not to Adam.
In his Divina Commedia, however, Dante changes his view to another, that treats the Adamic language as the product of Adam. This had the consequence that it could not any longer be regarded immutable, and hence Hebrew/Aramaic could not be regarded as identical with the language of Paradise. Dante concludes (Paradiso XXVI) that Hebrew/Aramaic is a derivative of the language of Adam. In particular, the chief Hebrew/Aramaic name for God in scholastic tradition, El, must be derived of a different Adamic name for God, which Dante reconstructs as first-person singular personal pronoun I.
One might note that many Jewish/Muslim scholars provide scholarly theories, claiming that cross-related Hebrew/Aramaic and Arabic, which both are Afro-Asiatic languages, could also be alternatively claimed as being the original Adamic language, because source of all Afro-Asiatic languages is believed to be in Ethiopia, where the greatest diversity of these languages can be found, including the Ge'ez language used in the Book of Enoch.
These Semitic theories are based on the fact that the the name Adam آدم/אדם comes from the skin which Adamah أدمه/אדמה, and especially on knowledge that Adam name refers to the skin color of which was tanned. These scholars argue that according to their Talmud/Hadith script, Adam being the father of humans, was made from all kinds of earth with all colors types, hence the color of skin was neither black nor white color, but yellowish, while hairs were reddish.
Those scholars who do not believe the Afro-Asiatic languages were the descendants of the Adamic language trace them to Abraham instead of Noah and Adam.
Some Early Modern Christian scholars on basis of Genesis 10:5 have assumed that the Japhetite, or Indo-European, languages are rather the direct descendants of the Adamic language, having separated directly after the confusion of tongues, by which also Hebrew/Aramaic was affected. For example, a few early Christian fathers claimed that Adam spoke Greek/Latin to explain why God would make it the liturgical language of his Church, although "Greek/Latin" here would be a loose way of referring to its ancestor, Proto-Indo-European.
The Catholic nun Anne Catherine Emmerich (1790), stated in her private revelations that the most direct descendants of the Adamic language were Bactrian, Zend and Indian languages (i.e., the Indo-Iranian languages). In this way Emmerich associates the Adamic language with the then-recent concept of the "common source" of these tongues, now known as Proto-Indo-European. According to her, it was written in the sentence-level ideographic script which was more abstract than word-level ideographic script.
According to Ernst Cassirer, "The sixteenth- and seventeenth-century philosophers of language still supposed that phenomena of onomatopoeia offered the key to the basic and original language of mankind, the lingua adamica".
The modern concept corresponding to that of the Adamic language is that of the Proto-World language, but rather than positing divine inspiration, linguists also assume that it arose from proto-linguistic forms of communication.
Recent treatments of a "language of Eden", such as the Edenics of Isaac E. Mozeson, suggested in his The Origin of Speeches: Intelligent Design in Language: From the Language of Eden to Our Babble After Babel, are the examples of modern scientific literature based partly on religious beliefs.
Elizabethan scholar John Dee makes references to an occult or angelic language recorded in his private journals and those of seer spirit medium Edward Kelley. Dee's journals did not describe the language as "Enochian", instead preferring "Angelical", the "Celestial Speech", the "Language of Angels", the "First Language of God-Christ", the "Holy Language", or "Adamical" because, according to Dee's Angels, it was used by Adam in Paradise to name all things. The language was later dubbed Enochian, due to Dee's assertion that the Biblical Patriarch Enoch had been the last human (before Dee and Kelley) to know the language.
John Dee was convinced that there was a hidden message for mankind written in Angelical and as he called upon angels to help him understand it, Angelical appears to say "angel I call". Others are beginning to point out that traces of the language have left clues in all other languages and known English/Adamic interpretations. For example, pointing out that it is apparent that there is a parent language, the similarities between "planet" and "plan it" and the story of God in a garden that he later put a guard on before he moved farther away. One modern Adamic medium points out that, read this way, English is close to Angelish and that the Angelish language can attest to a test.
At two points in the Bible, Paul seems to say that he could not repeat what he heard in his head because it was unlawful, suggesting that there is an unexpected sense of humor and quite possibly an inherent banter to be found in Adamic as it split into different languages. Classic examples being "Diarrhoea," "dire rear" and "derrière". A less humorous (humor us) example is "Unicorn" or "Unique horn" and those fluent in Adamic claim that it reveals constant alternative meanings, including information that appears to explain the so called "meaning of life" and prophecies in the passed, present and future.
The written form of Adamic is Enochian, Enoch having committed it to writing. Though the text was lost in the great deluge, it was found again by John Dee and Edward Kelley in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, (the burial place of Mary the Mother of Jesus and the disciples, following the crucifixion,) and through conferences with angels.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, in his version of the Bible, declared the Adamic language to have been "pure and undefiled". Some Latter Day Saints believe it to be the language of God.
Some other early Latter-day Saint leaders, including Brigham Young, Orson Pratt and Elizabeth Ann Whitney claimed to have received several words in the Adamic language in revelations. Some Latter Day Saints believe that the Adamic language is the "pure language" spoken of by Zephaniah and that it will be restored as the universal language of humankind at the end of the world.
The Latter-day Saint Endowment prayer circle once included use of the words "pay lay Ale", which some adherents believed were presumably Adamic words meaning "mouth to God". The untranslated words are no longer used in temple ordinances and have been replaced by the English version. In reality, the "pay lay Ale" sentence is derived from the Hebrew/Aramaic sentence "פה לאל"-"pe le-El", 'mouth to God'. "pay lay Ale" most likely is derived from letters on the Enochian invocational PELEEL ring, from 1583, "revealed" to John Dee, which also bears the symbols of the Mormon temple garments: L, V and a horizontal line on top of an O (representing the navel/belly button).
Other words thought by some Latter-day Saints to derive from the Adamic language include deseret ("honey bee", see Ether 2:3, but some argue "deseret" can be traced to the Egyptian word deseret, which in fact refers to the honey bee),  and Ahman ("God"). Some have also taken the word shelem to mean "height" (see Ether 3:1) though the passage states, "...which they called the mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height..." not necessarily implying that the word actually means "height," but more practically that the word has at least something to do with "exceeding height".
In the Pearl of Great Price, a section of Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, it refers to "a Book of Remembrance", written in language of Adam. It is believed that this was the beginning of what is recognized as the Old Testament today.
- Angelo Mazzocco, Linguistic Theories in Dante and the Humanists, ISBN 9004092501 (chapter 9: "Dante's Reappraisal of the Adamic language", 159-181)
- Umberto Eco, The search for the perfect language (1993).
- Divine language
- History of linguistics
- Lingua Ignota
- Mythical origins of language
- Origin of language
- Proto-World language
- Universal language
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