Found 565 Documents across 57 Pages (0.009 seconds)
  1. 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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  2. Societies of strangers do not speak less complex languagesShcherbakova, Olena - Science Advances, 2023 - 2 Hypotheses

    Is grammatical complexity shaped by sociodemographic and sociolinguistic factors? The previously accepted "linguistic niche hypothesis" claims that with an increased number of nonnative speakers in a social group (high exotericity), grammatic complexity decreases; on the other hand, grammatical complexity increases amongst isolated linguistic communities (low exotericity). Through the use of spatiophylogenetic modelling of 1314 languages, the authors of this study do not find adequate evidence to support the linguistic niche hypothesis. Instead, they suggest that linguistic complexity is better predicted by phylogeny and geographic contiguity.

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  3. Population Size and the Rate of Language Evolution: A Test Across Indo-European, Austronesian, and Bantu LanguagesGreenhill, Simon J. - Frontiers in Psychology, 2018 - 1 Hypotheses

    How is the evolution of language shaped by speaker population size? Through comparative data analyses of 153 language pairs from the Austronesian, Indo-European, and Niger-Congo language families, the authors find that the influence of population size on language evolution is not the same in the three language families. Only in Indo-European languages did a smaller population size of language-speakers significantly predict more word loss.

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  4. Evolutionary dynamics of language systemsGreenhill, Simon J. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017 - 3 Hypotheses

    How do subsystems of language evolve over time? It is commonly assumed that grammatical changes of language are slower than vocabulary changes. Using a Dirichlet process mixture model to analyze rates of language evolution in 81 Austronesian languages, the authors find that to the contrary, the grammatical features of language tend to change at a faster rate than basic vocabulary. Furthermore, their results show that grammatical features have higher rates of homoplasy, more frequent contact-induced change, and less deliberate differentiation than basic vocabulary.

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  5. A quantitative global test of the complexity trade-off hypothesis: the case of nominal and verbal grammatical markingShcherbakova, Olena - Linguistics Vanguard, 2023 - 1 Hypotheses

    The "equi-complexity hypothesis" suggests that there is an equal complexity across languages, meaning that there are constant trade-offs between different domains. Using phylogenetic modelling in a sample of 244 languages, this study follows a diachronic perspective to explore if there is an inversed coevolution within the grammatical coding of nominal and verbal domains. The results show that while there appears to be a coevolutionary relationship between some features of these two domains, there is no evidence to support the idea that all languages maintain an overall equilibrium of grammatical complexity. Rather, the correlation nominal and verbal domains vary between lineages. Austronesian languages do not show a coevolution between the domains. Sino-Tibetan languages seem to have a positive correlation while Indo-European languages appear to have a negative correlation, meaning that this inverse coevolution can be lineage specific.

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  6. The evolution of culture and grammarPerkins, Revere Dale - State University of New York at Buffalo, 1980 - 2 Hypotheses

    This dissertation is a cross-cultural study of the relationship between cultural complexity and linguistic variables. The hypothesis is supported using a sample of fifty languages. Cultural complexity is theorized to instigate change in linguistic devices that are better tailored to express new areas of discourse.

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  7. A language pattern co-occurring with violence-permisivenessWitucki, Jeannette - Behavioral Science, 1971 - 1 Hypotheses

    This paper discusses a cross-cultural study comparing features of grammatical structure and features of social structure. The author hypothesizes that the language will emphasize "self" with more personal protection within a society.

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  8. An evolutionary aspect of social structure and a verb "have"Webb, Karen E. - American Anthropologist, 1977 - 1 Hypotheses

    This article examines the relationship between grammatical forms and a society’s economic activity, particularly whether property-based societies are more likely to develop the possessive verbs. Analysis supports an association.

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  9. A Cognitive Typology for Numerical NotationChrisomalis, Stephen - Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 2004 - 5 Hypotheses

    In this article, the author suggests a new topology of numerical notation systems. This new typology organizes each system by two axes. The first of these axes is cumulative versus ciphered versus multiplicative and the other is additive versus positional. The author goes on to argue that, considering the intelligibility of number systems even in the absence of knowledge about their associated language, human number systems are a reflection of cognitive processes. Finally, the author uses this new typology to build a theoretical model of numerical system evolution over time. The article concludes with suggestions for utilizing this typology in future cross-cultural research.

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  10. Rise and fall of political complexity in island South-East Asia and the PacificCurrie, Thomas E. - Nature, 2010 - 6 Hypotheses

    Using phylogenetic modeling, the researchers test hypotheses for different sequences of political complexity among South-East Asian and Pacific Austronesian-speaking cultures. The research adds to an existing debate between sequential, incremental political evolution models and non-sequential models with larger increases in complexity. The results suggest support for a more sequential unilinear model.

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