Found 502 Documents across 51 Pages (0.011 seconds)
  1. Drivers of geographical patterns of North American language diversityCoelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco - Proceedings Royal Society B, 2019 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers investigated further into why and how humans speak so many languages across the globe, and why they are spread out unevenly. Using two different path analyses, a Stationary Path analysis and a GWPath, researchers tested the effect of eight different factors on language diversity. Out of the eight variables (river density, topographic complexity, ecoregion richness, temperature and precipitation constancy, climate change velocity, population density, and carrying capacity with group size limits), population density, carrying capacity with group size limit, and ecoregion richness had the strongest direct effects. Overall, the study revealed the role of multiple different mechanisms in shaping language richness patterns. The GWPath showed that not only does the most important predictor of language diversity vary over space, but predictors can also vary in the direction of their effects in different regions. They conclude that there is no universal predictor of language richness.

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  2. 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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  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. Human language diversity and the acoustic adaptation hypothesisMaddieson, Ian - Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 2015 - 1 Hypotheses

    In the field of bioacoustics, the Acoustic Adaptation theory suggests that variation in vocalization across different species can be accounted for by the acoustic properties of different habitats. Here, the researchers test consonant- and vowel-heaviness in human languages against various environmental variables in order to examine the theory's potential application to our own species. The authors identify a significant negative correlation between consonant heaviness and temperature, precipitation, and tree cover, and some positive correlation with rugosity and elevation as their most important findings, while acknowledging the potentially influential roles of migration and demographic factors in producing this relationship.

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  5. Economic Systems of Foraging, Agricultural, and Industrial SocietiesFrederic L. Pryor - , 2005 - 26 Hypotheses

    The second and third parts of this book classify the economic systems of foraging and agricultural societies in the SCCS based on correlations between their institutions of property an distribution. These economic types are then examined for relationships with other social, political, demographic, and environmental factors in order to draw tentative conclusions regarding the origins of the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. The fourth part of the book uses cross-national data to examine similar associations in industrial/service economies, and is not included here.

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  6. Risk of resource failure and toolkit variation in small-scale farmers and herdersCollard, Mark - PloS one, 2012 - 1 Hypotheses

    Prior research by Oswalt (1973, 1976) and Torrence (1983, 2001) has suggested that risk of resource failure is a significant predictor of toolkit complexity and diversity among hunter-gatherers. In this paper, the same relationship is tested among small-scale herding and farming groups. However, no significant correlation is discovered between any measure of resource risk and any measure of toolkit complexity. The researchers suggest that this absence may be the result of greater reliance on non-technological diversification methods among farmers (i.e. spatial diversification, mixed farming, intercropping), or of other unaccounted-for sources of risk (i.e. intergroup raiding and warfare).

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  7. The local variability of rainfall and tribal institutions: the case of SudanNugent, Jeffrey B. - Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 1999 - 2 Hypotheses

    This paper poses and tests relationships between local spatial variability of rainfall and property rights, as well as the degree of hierarchy, across 41 different tribal societies in Sudan. The authors find that there is a significant negative relationship between rainfall variability and degree of hierarchy. They also find that in the presence of local rainfall variability in Sudan, members of a tribe are more likely to establish common property institutions that allow access to all members.

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  8. Hindcasting global population densities reveals forces enabling the origin of agricultureKavanagh, Patrick H. - Nature Human Behavior, 2018 - 3 Hypotheses

    The researchers, using principal component analysis, generalized additive models across 12 agriculture origin locations, and a model predicting hunter-gatherer population density, evaluate hindcasted population density trends to suggest predictors of the development of agriculture. Using domestication as an indicator of agriculture, they test 3 competing hypotheses regarding agriculture development. Their results are consistent with the "surplus" hypothesis, indicating that agriculture arose as population densities increased along with environmental capabilities.

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  9. How marginal are forager habitats?Porter, Claire C. - Journal of Archaeological Science, 2007 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article examines the quality of forager habitats to determine whether agriculturalists occupy the most productive areas while modern forager groups are relegated to poor habitats. Findings indicate that there are slight but insignificant differences in the net primary productivity of foragers’ land and agriculturalists’ land. Further analysis of types of agriculturalists suggest that horticulturalists live in the most productive habitats, followed by intensive agriculturalists and finally pastoralists.

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  10. The economics of exogamous marriage in small‐scale societiesDow, Gregory K. - Economic Inquiry, 2016 - 2 Hypotheses

    The authors develop and empirically test a model in which exogamy is negatively predicted by community size, due to decreasing heterogeneity from endogenous marriages in small settlements, and positively predicted by disparity in productivity between communities which is 'smoothed out' by transfer of community members through exogamous marriages. Support for both predictions is found, which is used to argue that cultural traits like marriage customs are heavily influenced by population-environment relationships.

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