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Did we give us more F-Word food products? : Salt: NPR



Biomechanical model of production of "f" sound with overlap (left) compared with bite from edge to edge (right). Some linguists argue that the appearance of more food, thousands of years ago, led to changes in bite and, ultimately, to the more frequent use of "f" and "v" sounds in human language.

Scott Moisick


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Scott Moisik

Biomechanical model of production of sound "f" with anterolateral (left) compared with bite from edge to edge (right). Some linguists argue that the emergence of more meals, thousands of years ago, led to bite changes and, ultimately, more frequent use of "f" and "v" sounds in human language.

Scott Moisik

Treated products turn into many things. But this week a group of linguists took him to a completely new level. Roughly speaking, they argue that the invention of processed foods such as yogurt and porridge, thousands of years ago, gave us the word F. Many F-words. More precisely, researchers believe that more and more products that have led to more frequent use of "f" and "v" sounds in human languages. (Other skilled language experts are skeptical about it later.)

According to a new theory, food influenced the language through a complex chain of events.

Originally, agriculture came into existence and early forms of food processing, such as fermentation, delivered food that was easier to chew. There were no more people who relied so strongly on hard meat, roots and berries. And as a result, the newly spoiled people ended up with another bite look. Their teeth were no longer erased, and they kept more of the natural bite with which they were born, with teeth of the upper jaw that overlap the lower teeth.

This physical arrangement of the teeth, in turn, made it easier for people to make "labidodental fractional" sounds like "f" and "v" that require that the upper teeth be pressed on the lower lip.

"This change in bite has paved the way for laboratory research in spoken languages," says Damian Blazy, a linguist from Zurich University. He spoke during a teleconference with journalists, organized by the journal Science who published a new study.

According to Blazy, people with excessively distorted ones are more likely to, by accident, have made "f" and "v" sounds. Then the normal processes of linguistic evolution passed. These mistakes of language are sometimes caught up and become standard parts of human languages. "This does not mean that labiodentals will appear in all languages," says Stephen Moran, another linguist at the University of Zurich, is involved in the study. "This means that the probability of getting labiodentals increases somewhat over time."

Scientists have collected evidence of their theory over the past ninety years. It was not easy. "The biggest obstacle was, simply speaking, that linguistic behavior does not mean" Ianila, "Blazy says. There are no audio recordings in the kitchens of ancient Mesopotamia. They, however, have found evidence to support each step in their hypothetical chain of events. There is evidence, for example, that hunter-gatherers lost their bite. Computational modeling of the human jaw suggests that in order for the sound "f" and "w" to sound, you do not need such a bite, so it can be argued that hunters-gathering will not be inclined to make such sounds .

The researchers studied the evolution of the Indo-European languages. Generations of linguists have tried to restore the ancient versions of these languages, and indeed "we found that for these groups of languages, it is very likely that labiodentals were not much before the Bronze Age, in parallel with [the] ] the development of new Blaise says, Linguists also found that labio-dental sounds are less common in the languages ​​of modern hunter and collector communities in Greenland, South Africa and Australia

. Where sounds exist, they sometimes occur mainly in words, borrowed from other languages. [19659008] Putting it all together, researchers are confident in their theory, and they think that this study of "f" and "v" sounds can shift the whole linguistic area.

According to Balthasar Bikel of the University of Zurich, another co-author of the study, the language is usually considered a purely cultural phenomenon. "If you think about it, however, it's a little weird," he says. "We do this with our bodies, mainly with our companies, but in the case of sign language, with our hands and other gestures." He says that biology affects the language.

Other linguists are intrigued, but less convinced. "I think that individual parts seem reasonable," says Alan Yu, a linguist at the University of Chicago. But the whole story impresses him as speculative. "There are only a few too many gaps for me to think that it's a real link between diet and language changes," he says. The researchers did not look at the languages ​​of American hunters, he says, some of them use labidodental sounds that did not come from European languages. doubts He wrote in an e-mail to NPR that human speech has flourished for thousands of years before the emergence of agriculture and more products, "so it's strange that people would wait until it's too late before producing laboratory dental fritters."

Anthropologist Ball Bailey of the University of New York, on the other hand, found that the new study caused reflections. "I like it!" she says. "It makes me think about what I did not think."

Bailey's study focuses on the development of the human jaw. "I can really ask my students to go and possibly check out some of these hypotheses, look at fossil hominids, or look at hunters-collectors. When you inspire other people to follow and conduct their own experiments, I think it's good! "


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