…[Stanford University linguist Joseph] Greenberg determined that Semitic languages really form only one of six or more branches of a much larger language family, Afroasiatic, all of whose other branches (and other 222 surviving languages) are confined to Africa. Even the Semitic subfamily itself is mainly African, 12 of its 19 surviving languages being confined to Ethiopia. This suggests that Afroasiatic languages arose in Africa, and that only one branch of them spread to the Near East. Hence it may have been Africa that gave birth to the languages spoken by the authors of the Old and New Testaments and the Koran, the moral pillars of Western civilization.
Diamond, Jared M. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human
Societies. New York: Norton, 1999. Print.