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Picture of BobHale
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Just listened to an interesting talk on the Lexicon Valley podcast (Apr 3 2019) about language being influenced by the physical aspects of where people live - in humid climates, dry climates, high in the mountains etc. There were no theories presented as to why this is but statistical links of languages found in various environments were discussed. Apparently languages with lots of tones are often geographically linked with humid climates and languages with ejectives (a kind of consonant that we don't have) are often associated with mountainous regions.

Very interesting.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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The podcast in question does mention that the case for the ejectives/altitude hypothesis is weaker than for the tones/humidity and that there is disagreement among linguists about it.


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
 
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It's similar to Sapir-Whorf, though. Interesting. I'll have to alert Shu because he loves those podcasts.
 
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