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  1. Sound–meaning association biases evidenced across thousands of languagesBlasi, Damian E. - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016 - 1 Hypotheses

    Scholars generally agree that, across languages, the relationship between particular sounds and the meaning of words is arbitrary. In this article the authors test this assumption, seeking patterned associations between sound and meaning in the basic vocabulary lists of a large, worldwide sample of languages.

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  2. Grammars are robustly transmitted even during the emergence of creole languagesBlasi, Damian E. - Nature Human Behavior, 2017 - 3 Hypotheses

    The authors statistically test existing theories and proposals regarding the existence and nature of the creole language profile. Results indicate that consistencies and variation between creole languages, as with non-creole languages, is a result of genealogical and contact processes. However, creole languages are unique from non-creole languages in that they have more than one language in their ancestry. Findings "call into question the existence of a pidgin stage in creole development and of creole-specific innovations." Support is found for the idea that language learning and transmission are strikingly resilient processes.

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  3. Climate, vocal folds, and tonal languages: connecting the physiological and geographic dotsEverett, Caleb - PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), 2015 - 1 Hypotheses

    Utilizing two independently-coded databases representing 3700+ languages, authors investigate whether cold ecologies or otherwise-desiccated ecologies are less amenable to complex tonality in language. Languages with complex tonality are primarily found to be located in tropical regions and generally absent in desiccated environments, regardless of latitude.

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