Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Spoken Language Influenced by Elevation, Say Anthropologists
Popular Archaeology ^ | Wednesday, June 12, 2013 | unattributed

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 Structures—the 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 ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals
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 [8]. 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

Spoken Language Influenced by Elevation, Say Anthropologists

1 posted on 06/15/2013 9:59:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


2 posted on 06/15/2013 10:00:16 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
7,000 languages

I had no idea.

3 posted on 06/15/2013 10:15:55 AM PDT by chesty_puller (Viet Nam 1970-71 He who shed blood with me shall forever be my brother. Shak.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
"ejective consonants are spoken mainly in regions of high elevation"

also yodeling

4 posted on 06/15/2013 10:18:30 AM PDT by UnwashedPeasant
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Well.... that explains Denver.


5 posted on 06/15/2013 10:18:59 AM PDT by UCANSEE2 (The monsters are due on Maple Street)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
"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."

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.

6 posted on 06/15/2013 10:21:31 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Affirmative action is racial profiling.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

However, nearly all languages feature edverbs, e.g. want-ed, need-ed, etc...


7 posted on 06/15/2013 10:33:59 AM PDT by mikrofon (All in the Past .. tense)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: E. Pluribus Unum

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.


8 posted on 06/15/2013 10:37:02 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...
This is absolutely true. In 15 minutes in downtown Denver I heard at least 50 people scream, "WTF!"

And the men were even worse.

9 posted on 06/15/2013 10:37:50 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Interesting:

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!)


10 posted on 06/15/2013 10:39:16 AM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Noob1999

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.


11 posted on 06/15/2013 10:51:49 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Don't fire until you see the blue of their helmets)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

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?


12 posted on 06/15/2013 12:28:14 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Yes, this is why Monsieur Pujol, (a.k.a. Monsieur Lepetomane) had his performances in Paris (Altitude 114 feet).


13 posted on 06/15/2013 12:50:31 PM PDT by caddie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
A study was conducted at the University of Sagcatchaone wherein it was determined that external thoraxial sagging increases inversively proportionally and exponentially at increasing altitude, due to the effects of lessening gravity effects upon the mountain female body.

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!".

14 posted on 06/15/2013 1:07:43 PM PDT by bunkerhill7 (("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kenny Bunk

Your tagline has been stolen, centered, dressed in bold italics and sent to my entire e-mail list.


15 posted on 06/15/2013 3:24:45 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: bunkerhill7

LOL!


16 posted on 06/15/2013 5:26:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Kenny Bunk

:’)


17 posted on 06/15/2013 6:10:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: shibumi; caddie
I shall have to report this ourageous plagiarism to the Moderator. Not to mention my shock, shock I tell you, when I saw someone referring to "Le Petomane" on a thread that may be seen by minors.

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.

18 posted on 06/15/2013 7:31:35 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: shibumi; Kenny Bunk
Your tagline has been stolen, centered, dressed in bold italics and sent to my entire e-mail list.

("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)

LMAO!

Gay BathHouse Barry

kal penn marilyn monroe obama gay lover fag homo gay hug obama kal penn homosexuals fag queer lover


Gay pResident.

obama if i had a GIRLIE son

obama gay lover paki bathhouse fag homosexual poof

obama kal penn gay lover homosexual affair fag

Obama has also been romantically linked with Kal Penn - yet another gay 'friend'.
secret slowly revealed obama romantically linked kal penn gay friend

prancercise with obama gay fag polesmoker homo

19 posted on 06/16/2013 12:34:13 AM PDT by Bon mots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Bon mots; Kenny Bunk
You missed one .....


20 posted on 06/16/2013 2:15:02 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
If his sampling is representative then we should expect over 1000 languages with ejectives, no? It's not clear that his methodology is sound. A sample size from a population limit of 7000 isn't really necessary. Why not just use the entire population, particularly since your focus narrowly concentrates on ejectives?
21 posted on 06/16/2013 4:25:51 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

How do they know what Neanderthal sounds like?


22 posted on 06/16/2013 4:59:24 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: 1010RD

Human population tends to be lower altitude — of the approximately 7 billion people, over 90 percent live at or under 1000 feet elevation. In the US that may have started to tip lower, because of the areas around Phoenix and Denver, and Phoenix isn’t all that much higher than 1000 feet.


23 posted on 06/16/2013 1:23:46 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: 1010RD

For a long time, as you probably remember, it was denied that Neandertal could even speak; the obnoxious godfather of mtDNA even claimed that speech lived on mtDNA, and that Neandertal died out as a “village idiot” which couldn’t speak.

That was so obnoxious, he should have been suspended and brought up on a tenure hearing, and if not fired then censured or forced into retirement. He wound up dying of cancer.


24 posted on 06/16/2013 1:26:08 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve

in local libraries
"Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]

25 posted on 06/16/2013 1:27:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Deeeeude. Hey. Whaaaadja say again? Still stoooooooooned off my aaaas from a day a da beach, mannnn.... Souuuuunds totally narly....


26 posted on 06/16/2013 1:31:12 PM PDT by Yaelle
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

I didn’t consider that. So does his language sample cover all the languages that contain ejectives?


27 posted on 06/16/2013 1:40:00 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

Yes and I’m going to read that book you always recommend, but I still don’t know how they know what Neadertal speech sounded like.


28 posted on 06/16/2013 1:40:44 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 1010RD; a fool in paradise
Spoken Language Influenced by Elevation, Say Anthropologists

It's true! Whenever my brother got high he would start speaking gibberish!

29 posted on 06/16/2013 1:42:13 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Revolting cat!

Sounds like they have the low down on higher learnin’!


30 posted on 06/16/2013 1:44:21 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (America 2013 - STUCK ON STUPID)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: 1010RD; SunkenCiv
How do they know what Neanderthal sounds like?

No cave library should be without the
"Clan of the Cave Bear" series,
by Jean Auel. Not only is this exciting author an expert on Neandertal Linguistics, she is also an expert on the breaking of wild horses, prehistoric theology,and to top it off, the very explicit Dr. Kinsey of the prehistoric set.

31 posted on 06/19/2013 10:30:47 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk ("Obama" The Movie. Introducing Reggie Love as "Monica." .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson