OK, version one it is!
Cally, thank you always for your encouragement.
Matt, thanks a lot of your detailed thoughts. I changed the article to "the proto-language" because you are right, and because this was something I had thought about before but for some reason "the" felt weird; but, no, it should be there. Given your and Andrew's thoughts on S4, I will fiddle with an alternative first sentence; there might be a way to change "construct," which does have heavy contemporary connotations as Andrew points out, and also incorporate the word-whim.
Everyone is a word-whim.