The island biogeography of languages

Global Ecology and Biogeography Vol/Iss. 21(10) Blackwell Publishing Ltd Published In Pages: 958-967
By Gavin, Michael C. , Sibanda, Nokuthaba


This paper examines the enormous variation in linguistic diversity among Pacific Islands by testing its relationship with various environmental variables put forth in several common theories of language richness. The researchers identify variables relating to land area and island isolation as accounting for about half of variation in linguistic diversity, suggesting that the other half is a result of complex social factors.

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