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had split into Gaulish and its British branches by 5,200 years ago. These dates have wide margins of error, but are in the same range as Gray's.

Gray's date of 8,700 years ago for the first split in the Indo-European language tree lends considerable weight to the Renfrew hypothesis that the invention of agriculture drove the spread of Indo-European. The implications reach beyond the specific case of Indo-European. Success of the biologists' tree building methods would mean that languages can be reconstructed back to 9,000 years ago, considerably farther back in time than many linguists have supposed. The prospects for reconstructing even older trees of human languages may not be entirely hopeless.

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