Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

General discussion about learning languages
Kraut
Green Belt
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 pm
Languages: German (N)
French (C)
English (C)
Spanish (A2)
Lithuanian
x 523

Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

Postby Kraut » Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:16 pm

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/3 ... rendmd-sci


CONCLUSION

Our findings reveal that the transition from prehistoric foragers to contemporary societies has had an impact on the human speech apparatus, and therefore on our species’ main mode of communication and social differentiation: spoken language.



Labiodentals depend on bite configuration.

Biomechanical modeling shows that labiodental sounds like “f” are easier to produce (and to accidentally arise) under overbite and overjet (A) than under the edge-to-edge bite (B) that prevailed before the Neolithic (C). Overbite and overjet persisted only when exposed to the softer diets that became characteristic with food production (D versus E) and more recently with intensified food processing (F). Both developments led to a spread of labiodental sounds.
1 x

lichtrausch
Orange Belt
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:21 pm
Languages: English, Japanese, German
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Spanish, French, Korean
x 174

Re: Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

Postby lichtrausch » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:50 pm

The full article appears to be behind a paywall. Which human populations experienced these changes?
0 x

Kraut
Green Belt
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 pm
Languages: German (N)
French (C)
English (C)
Spanish (A2)
Lithuanian
x 523

Re: Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

Postby Kraut » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:26 pm

lichtrausch wrote:The full article appears to be behind a paywall. Which human populations experienced these changes?


Europeans are a mixture of ancient hunter-gatherers, farmers that came from Anatolia to Europe and the steppe pastoralists that came from the Pontic/Caspian region (they brought the dominant European R1a/R1b male haplogroups, the Kurgan people or Indo-European "Urvolk"). The latter two would be the ones that brought about the change.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6432/eaav3218
When the persistence of overbite and overjet in a population is approximated by the prevalence of agriculturally produced food, we find that societies described as hunter-gatherers indeed have, on average, only about one-fourth the number of labiodentals exhibited by food-producing societies, after controlling for spatial and phylogenetic correlation. When the persistence is approximated by the increase in food-processing technology over the history of one well-researched language family, Indo-European, we likewise observe a steady increase of the reconstructed probability of labiodental sounds, from a median estimate of about 3% in the proto-language (6000 to 8000 years ago) to a presence of 76% in extant languages.
1 x

User avatar
Iversen
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2139
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Denmark
Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian and (part time) Esperanto
Ahem, not yet: Norwegian, Afrikaans, Platt, Scots, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Irish, Indonesian and a few more...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
x 4304

Re: Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

Postby Iversen » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:31 am

Actually I think the move away from edge-to-edge dental position has been mentioned in the English quiz QI during the reign of Stephen Fry so it can't be totally new knowledge. Right now I wonder why Dutch is spoken with a much more guttural edge to it than Flemish is in Belgium, and why Spanish has the typical isp and Catalan hasn't got it, and why Danes mumble and the Portuguese and French have so many nasal wovels when Italian hasn't got any. I am loath to assume that the feeding habits ares so different in these places that they can have such effects, and the dental profiles are probably also roughly similar. So dentistry facts alone can't explain everything about the phonemes of a language.

But "a steady increase of the reconstructed probability of labiodental sounds, from a median estimate of about 3% in the proto-language (6000 to 8000 years ago) to a presence of 76% in extant languages" is nevertheless impressive and worth further investigation.

Kunst075.JPG
Kunst075.JPG (26.22 KiB) Viewed 138 times
0 x

lichtrausch
Orange Belt
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:21 pm
Languages: English, Japanese, German
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Spanish, French, Korean
x 174

Re: Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

Postby lichtrausch » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:06 pm

Kraut wrote:Europeans are a mixture of ancient hunter-gatherers, farmers that came from Anatolia to Europe and the steppe pastoralists that came from the Pontic/Caspian region (they brought the dominant European R1a/R1b male haplogroups, the Kurgan people or Indo-European "Urvolk"). The latter two would be the ones that brought about the change.

So Europeans and their descendants are the only human populations with this adaptation in their speech apparatus?
0 x

Kraut
Green Belt
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 pm
Languages: German (N)
French (C)
English (C)
Spanish (A2)
Lithuanian
x 523

Re: Human sound systems are shaped by post-Neolithic changes in bite configuration

Postby Kraut » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:17 pm

lichtrausch wrote:
Kraut wrote:Europeans are a mixture of ancient hunter-gatherers, farmers that came from Anatolia to Europe and the steppe pastoralists that came from the Pontic/Caspian region (they brought the dominant European R1a/R1b male haplogroups, the Kurgan people or Indo-European "Urvolk"). The latter two would be the ones that brought about the change.

So Europeans and their descendants are the only human populations with this adaptation in their speech apparatus?


No, they talk about where a "population is approximated by the prevalence of agriculturally produced food".
1 x


Return to “General Language Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Deinonysus, Valddu and 2 guests