Found 902 Documents across 91 Pages (0.009 seconds)
  1. Naming the days of the week: a cross-language study of lexical acculturationBrown, Cecil H. - Current Anthropology, 1989 - 1 Hypotheses

    This paper provides a linguistic study of the effect of lexical acculturation on the names given to days of the week. Findings show that loan words are used most frequently adopted for weekend days, followed by the days of the week that are closest to the weekends, and least frequently adopted for the days in the middle of the seven-day cycle.

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  2. 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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  3. Emotion semantics show both cultural variation and universal structureJackson, Joshua Conrad - Science, 2019 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers looked at the meaning of various emotion concepts, 'emotion semantics' in an attempt to determine the patterns and processes behind meaning cross-culturally. They used maps of colexification patterns (where semantically related concepts are named with the same word), adjusted Rand indices (ARIs) which indicated the similarities of two community's network structures, and various psychophysiological dimensions to test relationships and patterns of variability /structure in emotion semantics. These methods shed light on the underlying mechanisms behind emotions, both their words and their meanings in languages across the world. Their findings show substantial difference in language families and relationships between geographic proximity of language families and subsequent variation in emotion colexification tied to an evolutionary relationship, while also finding cultural universals in emotion colexification networks with languages primarily differentiating emotions on the basis of valence and activation.

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  4. Cross-language parallels in parental kin termsMurdock, George Peter - Anthropological Linguistics, 1959 - 2 Hypotheses

    This article examines the universal tendency for languages, regardless of their historical relationships, to develop similar words for mother and father on the basis of nursery forms. Findings suggest that Ma, Na, Pa, and Ta are significantly more common sound classes denoting the mother or father.

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  5. 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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  6. Rate of language evolution is affected by population sizeBromham, Lindell - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012 - 3 Hypotheses

    Population size is generally assumed to play a pivotal role in the evolution of languages and cultures, but the expected patterns and potential mechanisms of change are unsettled. Theoretical models are limited by this uncertainty because they require making prior assumptions about language evolution. Using a sample of 20 Polynesian languages, authors test the effect of population size on the gain, loss, and total change of basic vocabulary words.

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  7. Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configurationBlasi, D.E. - Science, 2019 - 3 Hypotheses

    Using ethnography, historical linguistics, paleoanthropology, and speech biomechanics, the present study examines the relationship between labiodentals and the post-Neolithic period with the introduction of agriculture and softer diets. The results offer support for the linguist, Charles Hockett's, hypothesis that the shift in bite configuration in the post-Neolithic period, as well as the persistence of overbite and overjet, facilitates and makes the articulation of labiodentals more prevalent. Using cross-cultural comparison, findings also reveal that societies that produce their food are more likely to evolve and keep labiodentals than those that are not food-producing. Contact with other societies is also a mode by which societies gain labiodentals. Lastly, the expansion of agricultural and food processing technology over time has been imperative to labiodental articulations.

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  8. Languages in Drier Climates Use Fewer VowelsEverett, Caleb - Frontiers in Psychology, 2017 - 1 Hypotheses

    This study sampled over 4,012 language varieties, comparing their version of 40 generally universal words, such as body parts, water, the sun, pronouns, and common behaviors or animals. These language variations were tested in their association to "specific humidity," the variable used to represent ambient humidity of a language location. Results suggest negative association between the dryness of climate and the utilization of vowels, consitent with the idea that dry air affects the behavior of the larynx.

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  9. Color term salienceHays, David G. - American Anthropologist, 1972 - 3 Hypotheses

    This paper examines the Berlin-Kay color salience theory and offers four correlates of color salience: earliness of introduction, brevity of expression, frequency of use, and frequency of mention in ethnographic literature. All four correlations support the Berlin-Kay theory. The authors suggest that salience may be “an important general principle of cultural evolution” (1107).

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  10. Climate and the consonant-vowel (CV) syllable: a replication within language familiesMunroe, Robert L. - Cross-Cultural Research, 1999 - 3 Hypotheses

    Using a sample of four language families, this paper replicates previous findings on the relationship between consonant-vowel syllable use and climate. An secondary finding on the relationship between consonant-vowel syllable use and writing system was also replicated.

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