The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

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Khemehekis
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The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

Post by Khemehekis » 25 Mar 2019 00:43

Today, while I was reading the CBC news site, I came upon a fascinating biolinguistic discovery:

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/mar-23- ... -1.5065948

"Food" for thought when you're creating a language for a sapient people and taking their biology into account.
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elemtilas
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Re: The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

Post by elemtilas » 25 Mar 2019 05:16

Khemehekis wrote:
25 Mar 2019 00:43
Today, while I was reading the CBC news site, I came upon a fascinating biolinguistic discovery:

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/mar-23- ... -1.5065948

"Food" for thought when you're creating a language for a sapient people and taking their biology into account.
I see what you did there! Interesting read for consideration indeed.

Though I do wonder how they decided [f] & [v] were basically invented 12000 years ago or so....

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Re: The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

Post by Zekoslav » 25 Mar 2019 18:42

There's been some discussion of the paper on Languagehat, where they came to a somewhat less bold conclusion that the biological change simply caused a turnaround in the relative frequencies of [f], [v] vs. [ɸ], [β].
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sangi39
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Re: The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

Post by sangi39 » 26 Mar 2019 01:03

Zekoslav wrote:
25 Mar 2019 18:42
There's been some discussion of the paper on Languagehat, where they came to a somewhat less bold conclusion that the biological change simply caused a turnaround in the relative frequencies of [f], [v] vs. [ɸ], [β].
Those are the sorts of comments I've seen on "popular science" pages on Facebook and YouTube channels that have brought this up, i.e. "what about bilabial fricatives?". I haven't managed to read the original paper, however, so I can't say for certain whether this is something that's missed in the paper, or missed in the reporting.
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Re: The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

Post by Shemtov » 26 Mar 2019 02:57

Sounds a little bit like the mountains = ejectives argument.
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Re: The rise of agriculture and labiodentals

Post by Xonen » 28 Mar 2019 20:49

Shemtov wrote:
26 Mar 2019 02:57
Sounds a little bit like the mountains = ejectives argument.
Right, there've been a lot of attempts to explain sound changes with biological, geographical, climate-related or other similar factors, and mostly they haven't really stood up to scrutiny. This one would seem at least sort of plausible, I guess... But probably requires further research, and ultimately might hit the same wall as most stuff in historical linguistics: sure, you can make all sorts of interesting hypotheses, but beyond about 10000 years back (at most), it just becomes impossible to gather enough evidence for anything for it to be truly convincing.

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