A parasite‐driven wedge: infectious diseases may explain language and other biodiversity

Oikos Vol/Iss. 117(9) Blackwell Publishing Ltd Published In Pages: 1289-1297
By Fincher, Corey L., Thornhill, Randy


The authors test the relationship between linguistic diversity and parasite richness, theorizing that anti-pathogen behaviors, such as the favoring of contact with a limited range of similar, nearby populations carrying the same suite of parasites and pathogens, will be selected for due to variability in immunobiological makeup between groups. As a result, cultural and gene pool isolation will be likely to further divide local parasite-host groups, generating language diversity as well as population divergence and new evolutionary forms among the parasites themselves. A significant positive correlation is found, which the authors suggest has important implications for future research regarding cross-cultural transmission and interaction.


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Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:jack.dunnington