Skip to comments.Spoken Language Influenced by Elevation, Say Anthropologists
Posted on 06/15/2013 9:59:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
The study, led by Caleb Everett, associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami, reveals that languages containing ejective consonants are spoken mainly in regions of high elevation. Ejectives are sounds produced with an intensive burst of air. The findings also indicate that as elevation increases, so does the likelihood of languages with ejectives.
"Ejectives are produced by creating a pocket of air in the pharynx then compressing it." Everett says. "Since air pressure decreases with altitude and it takes less effort to compress less dense air, I speculate that it's easier to produce these sounds at high altitude."
When heard, the ejective sounds much like an abrupt, intense "k" sound produced from the back of the palette. Many of these sounds can be heard, for example, in the K'iche Mayan language of the central highlands of Guatemala.
To conduct the study, Everett analyzed the locations of 600 representative languages out of the total of 7,000 languages of the world. Ninety two of them exhibited ejectives. He utilized the World Atlas of Linguistic Structuresthe most comprehensive survey of linguistic sounds. Everett imported the coordinates of these languages into the geographic software of Google Earth and ArcGIS v. 10.0, then superimposed the locations of these sound systems on the world's landscape to analyze the patterns. He found that they occured in five of the six major high altitude regions on earth where people live. The only region where languages with ejectives are absent is the large Tibetan plateau and the adjacent areas. The people of this region, according to Everett, are thought to have a unique adaptation to high altitude that may explain this.
Everett is now studying other correlations between geography and the way language is spoken.
(Excerpt) Read more at popular-archaeology.com ...
Plot of the locations of the languages in the sample. Dark circles represent languages with ejectives, clear circles represent those without ejectives. Clusters of languages with ejectives are highlighted with white rectangles. For illustrative purposes only. Inset: Lat-long plot of polygons exceeding 1500 m in elevation. Adapted from Figure 4 in . The six major inhabitable areas of high elevation are highlighted via ellipses: (1) North American cordillera (2) Andes (3) Southern African plateau (4) East African rift (5) Caucasus and Javakheti plateau (6) Tibetan plateau and adjacent regions. Credit: Caleb Everett, associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Miami
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To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
I had no idea.
Well.... that explains Denver.
I suspect that the lower the elevation, the easier survival is, therefore lower-elevation cultures don't have to work as hard at staying alive.
At higher elevations there isn't as much food simply growing on trees, so you have to work harder and interact and cooperate with your neighbors in more sophisticated ways, which requires a more sophisticated language.
However, nearly all languages feature edverbs, e.g. want-ed, need-ed, etc...
The range of sounds made by Neandertal is now said to have been different; for (perhaps) most of the past 2 million years the ocean level has been hundreds of feet lower and the higher altitudes covered with glaciers.
And the men were even worse.
Caleb Everett, associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Miami
I wonder how many millions in grant money he received from “Porkulous#I to enable completion of this study???
(Maybe it was a byproduct of an earlier global warming alert, and smart folks listened to their governments and moved to higher ground!)
A great deal of research grant money comes from private sources. I’d never assume the government is paying for non-defense related research. Some maybe but not all.
Of course the two most important issues that need to be addressed are: are languages with ejectives threatened by global warming? and do speakers of these languages qualify for affirmative action?
Yes, this is why Monsieur Pujol, (a.k.a. Monsieur Lepetomane) had his performances in Paris (Altitude 114 feet).
This in turn produces less muscular and ligament downward pull upon the chest and throat of the female.
This correlatively evokes external stimuli, resulting in the emotive response from the mountain males` back-of-palate vocal contiguum of an aspirative "wh" sound followed by an ejective abrupt, intense "k" sound produced from the back of the palette commonly heard over and over again, in the mountains by university researchers and recorded on instruments as "WHat a racK!".
Your tagline has been stolen, centered, dressed in bold italics and sent to my entire e-mail list.
PS, I has all his ablums, "le Petomane's" that is, not Reggie's.
Ambrose Pierce, "The Devil's Dictionary:"
"Sodomite", Naval Term: An Admiral of the Windward Passage.
("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
Gay BathHouse Barry
Obama has also been romantically linked with Kal Penn - yet another gay 'friend'.