Pidgin speakers use the closest contemporary approximation to protolanguage, but it is hard to find records of their language because they are in such a low status in their societies. The picture shows migrant laborers in Abu Dhabi and surely they use some pidgin to communicate with one another, and just as surely both their employers and the migrants despise the pidgin they speak.
Derek Bickerton’s most important contribution to the study of language origins was the idea of a protolanguage that was spoken before full language appeared, and it remains the most important idea in his new book, Adam’s Tongue: How Humans Made Language, How Language Made Humans. Put simply, protolanguage is a simple language, but Bickerton is more specific than that and puts the matter more formally. He also reveals that he had a series of e-mail exchanges with Noam Chomsky on the subject of protolanguage and, as he tells it, he came out on top.