Found 611 Documents across 62 Pages (0.008 seconds)
  1. Process‐based modelling shows how climate and demography shape language diversityGavin, Michael C. - Global Ecology and Biogeography, 2017 - 2 Hypotheses

    Researchers examined both why so many language are spoken today, and why they are so unevenly distributed geographically. Instead of looking at correlative tests, this study uses a process-based simulation model that attempted to predict both the number or precolonial languages in Australia as well as the number of languages per unit of land. The model was based upon three basic assumptions: 1) humans fill unoccupied spaces; 2) rainfall limits population density; 3) groups divide after reaching a maximum population. While researchers used the model strictly on the Australia continent, it was able to correctly explain 56% of spatial variation in language richness, and predict the total number of languages across the continent. The accuracy of this model concludes that climatic conditions and changes in group size are important factors in shaping language diversity patterns and therefore global human cultural diversity.

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  2. Correlations in the population structure of music, genes and languageBrown, Steven - Proc. R. Soc. B, 2014 - 6 Hypotheses

    By testing relationships between musical, geographic, genetic, and linguistic distance among nine indigenous groups in Taiwan, the researchers aim to quantitatively evaluate a developing theory of coevolution between these traits. An especially strong correlation between musical variability and genetic distance suggests that music may possess worldwide time depth, diversity, and universality equal to or greater than that of language, and could thus serve as a complementary marker for reconstruction of long-term population shifts.

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  3. Behavioural variation in 172 small-scale societies indicates that social learning is the main mode of human adaptationMathew, Sarah - Proc. R. Soc. B, 2015 - 8 Hypotheses

    Inter-group variation is greater in humans than in any other animal, and scholars continue to debate the cause of this diversity. Two competing explanatory models of human variation emphasize either (1) ecological differences and "evoked" culture or (2) population-level effects of cultural transmission. The former emphasizes mechanisms that operate within a single generation, while the latter emphasizes cumulative cultural history operating over many generations. To test these competing models, the authors measured the relative power of ecological variables as compared to culture history to predict behavioral variation in 172 western North American tribes. Culture history is subdivided into culture phylogeny (based on language phylogeny) and spatial distance.

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  4. Political complexity predicts the spread of ethnolinguistic groupsCurrie, Thomas E. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2009 - 2 Hypotheses

    The researchers utilize a GIS approach in order to examine the relationship between global linguistic distribution and various cultural and environmental factors. The resulting positive association between political complexity and both latitude and language range leads the researchers to propose that large, politically complex entities exert a homogenizing pressure on language. However, the causal link may also be in the other direction, with possession of common language facilitating the creation of more complex political institutions.

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  5. The evolution of ethnolinguistic diversityCurrie, Thomas E. - Advances in Complex Systems, 2012 - 2 Hypotheses

    The authors test the relationship between ethnolinguistic area and various environmental variables in a cross-cultural sample of hunter-gatherer, pastoral, and agricultural subsistence groups in order to evaluate various hypotheses surrounding the geographic and ecological origins of cultural diversity. They propose that societies which adopted agriculture at the beginning of the Holocene were less directly affected by climate which, combined with the effect of increasing political and cultural complexity, allowed coordination and homogenization of ethnolinguistic groups over a broader swathe of territory.

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  6. Folktale transmission in the arctic provides evidence for high bandwidth social learning among hunter–gatherer groupsRoss, Robert M. - Evolution and Human Behavior, 2016 - 4 Hypotheses

    The myths, legends, and folktales of nearby groups tend to more alike than those of more distant groups. Three competing models attempt to explain this distribution of cultural traits: (1) vertical transmission, (2) horizontal transmission, and (3) independent innovation. The authors examine 18 Arctic hunter-gatherer groups to quantify the extent to which geographic distance, cultural ancestry, and effective population size predict overlap in folktale inventories.

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  7. Understanding ethnolinguistic differences: The roles of geography and tradeDickens, Andrew - The Economic Journal, 2021 - 6 Hypotheses

    This paper examines the relationship of productive variation in land between ethnic groups to determine if an increased range of producible goods will increase trade, thus decreasing language diversity between neighboring groups. The author initially found that high-variation in land production lessened the diversity of language between ethnic groups in that area. To further test this correlation, the author found that high-productive variation increased trade and exogamous marriage and decreased inter-ethnic conflict. Based on these findings, the author suggests that neighboring ethnic languages co-evolved through the economic benefit of inter-ethnic trade and social interaction.

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  8. River density and landscape roughness are universal determinants of linguistic diversityAxelsen, Jacob Bock - Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2014 - 1 Hypotheses

    The authors investigate the relationship between linguistic diversity and various environmental and spatial variables associated with biodiversity. Most of these variables predict linguistic diversity variably across different continents, and more so within Africa and extended Asia (Asia, the Pacific, and Australia) than within Europe and the Americas. This divide is theorized to be a result of differences in demography and impact of colonialism between the two global regions. However, two environmental factors, landscape roughness and density of river systems, are found to be significant predictors across all global regions. The authors suggest that, as in processes of speciation, rough terrain and watercourses both create physical barriers between which languages can develop in isolation while, in the case of river junctions, also providing transportation routes whereby hybrid languages can occasionally manifest.

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  9. The global geography of human subsistenceGavin, Michael C. - Royal Society Open Science, 2018 - 8 Hypotheses

    In this article, the authors seek to determine cross-culturally valid predictors of dominant types of human subsistence around the world. They did this by formulating multiple models that incorporate different combinations of environmental, geographic, and social factors. These models were then used to test various hypotheses posed throughout the anthropological literature surrounding factors that determine dominant subsistence strategies.

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  10. Language structure is partly determined by social structureLupyan, Gary - PLoS ONE, 2010 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article explores the relationship between language structure and social environment, positing that linguistic factors such as morphological complexity are associated with demographic/socio-historical factors such as number of speakers, geographic spread, and degree of language contact. Data support such an association. The authors further propose a Linguistic Niche Hypothesis suggesting that “the level of morphological specialization is a product of languages adapting to the learning constraints and the unique communicative needs of the speaker population” (7).

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