An update (30/11/2008): I realize that a title of this post sounds silly. I never tried to say something like "Scala has C++ roots" or so. Scala is "an attempt to come up with a decent statically typed language that is both functional and object-oriented and that interoperates on standard VMs" (Martin Odersky in a comment here). My point is: too much (including some functional features) was dropped when C++ was "simplified" by Java creators.
Scala allows to pass variable length argument list to a function defined like
def echo(args: String*) =
for (arg <- args) println(arg)
In "Programming in Scala" authors says that,
'... Thus, the type of args inside the echo function, which is declared as type "String*" is actually Array[String]'
It immediatelly reminds me C++, which uses similar syntax of passing array arguments. I'm pretty sure Martin Odersky chose asterisk, because it is used in C/C++, although in C/C++ it allows to pass array parameters, not a variable length argument list, and denotes a pointer to a first element of array.
There is definitely a feel, that C++ is more functional language than Java, for example a name of a function is a pointer (reference) variable pointing to a function itself, which allows to pass a function to another function as parameter and return as return value. First-class functions, isn't it?
So, Scala feels partly as a consistent attempt to re-introduce to Java functional features which were dropped when Java creators used C++ to produce new [over?]simplified language.
To learn programming languages in comparison is not an easy task. But it is, in my opinion, a most powerful way to obtain real understanding of languages. Footnotes or special text blocks, describing similarities and diffrence between languages make a programming book shine.