Evidence for direct geographic influences on linguistic sounds: the case of ejectives

PLOS One Vol/Iss. 8 Published In Pages: 1-10
By Everett, Caleb


The author investigates whether geographic factors--namely high elevation or 1500 m+ above sea level (reduced atmospheric pressure)-- impact the production, use, and ubiquity of ejective phonemes in eight non-contiguous language clusters. It is suggested that increased use of ejective phonemes has a physiological benefit: the reduction of water vapor loss via exhaled air. Evidence is presented in support of the hypothesized geographic-phonetic linkage.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
Ethnologue: Languages of the WorldOther Researchers
World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS)Other Researchers

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Christina Carolus