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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Science https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ We can thank agriculture and soft food for the word "F", which is a provocative new study People can not always easily produce "f" and "v" sounds, according to a surprising new study.

We can thank agriculture and soft food for the word "F", which is a provocative new study People can not always easily produce "f" and "v" sounds, according to a surprising new study.

Photo: AP

The reason why we can now enjoy words such as "aroma" and "effervescence," the researchers say, is related to changes in the ancestral diet of men and the introduction of soft foods – a development that changed the way we eat, and from there

Human speech includes all sorts of terrible noises, from the ubiquitous "m" and "a" sounds found in almost all languages, to the rare consonant expressions expressed in some South African dialects. Anthropologists and linguists have traditionally assumed that the inventory of all possible sounds of speech used by humans has remained unchanged since our species appeared some 300,000 years ago, but new research published today in science has prompted that long-standing assumption.

An interdisciplinary research team led by Damian Blazy of the University of Zurich states that "f" and "v" sounds were introduced only recently in the human lexicon, appearing as a side effect of the agricultural revolution. These sounds, which are now present in most of all human languages, are what linguists call labio-consensual – sounds produced by pressing our upper teeth on our lower lip.

Here is the story presented in the new study: 8,000 years ago when people switched from predominantly carnivorous lifestyles to agriculture, the food our ancestors had eaten became softer, which had a pronounced effect on human biting. Instead of biting from the edge of the edges manifested by hunters-gatherers who had to tear their flesh, the farmers kept the adolescent compression, which usually disappears from adulthood. With the teeth in front of the lower teeth, it is much easier to make lab-sounding sounds. Gradually and incidentally, these sounds were integrated into words that eventually spread over time and space, mostly over the past 2500 years.

At least, this is the theory, although the new document provides some convincing evidence to support. the claim. The document is intriguing because it assumes that human sounds used in language are more dynamic in history than conventionally suggests, and that some aspects of language can be traced back to relatively recent changes in human biology.

Adult skulls showing an end-to-end bite (A and B), and an adult skull showing slight compression (C). The roots of this study date back to 1985 when American linguist Charles Hockett showed that words with labyrinthine sounds were largely absent in the languages ​​of collectors 'hunters' societies (1969008) – observation that he attributes to the bite-to-edge configuration due to the lack of soft agricultural taste. foods. Hocks contemporaries do not buy this argument, but now, almost 35 years later, Blayz and his colleagues have resumed this idea. On a press conference held on Tuesday, Blazy said the new study is the culmination of five years of work with the help of experts in anthropology, phonetics and historical linguistics. The team, which included researchers from the Max Planck Institute, Lyon University and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, developed new methodologies specific to research, including the development of new data sets and human biomechanics simulation models.

Critics of Hockett's hypothesis say that wear and tear can not fully explain changes in the bite configuration of a person, and that end-to-end bites do not begin to disappear long after the introduction of agriculture. In the new study, however, the authors acknowledge that Hockett, who died in 2000, may have found something, saying that "recent anthropological evidence has shown that tooth wear … is the main mechanism for changing the bite after the teenager, and despite significant differences, a general reduction in bite from end to end has been observed from the Neolithic. "

Indeed, food introduced by agriculture – products like mash, soups and pulses, and dairy products such as cheese, milk and yogurt – lead to dramatically softer diets. Importantly, and as the authors pointed out in the study, the lack of heavy, heavy foods rather than the presence of soft foods contributed to changes in the bite configuration – a physiological process known as a debilitating occlusion

. A key point in the new study is that overhead makes it easy to announce lab-idlers. This ease of effort, the authors say, eventually led to the emergence and spread of words with "f" and "v" sounds. The biomechanical computer models used in the study seem to confirm this assumption, demonstrating that 29% less energy is needed to produce labidifiers with a bend compared to an end-to-end bite. Speaking at the press conference, the authors stated that the emergence of lab-sounding sounds was not the result of a "deterministic" process, is not inevitable. Adopting a softer diet simply increased the likelihood of this happening.

"The production of labyrinthine sounds does not come at the cost of making other sounds," Baltazar Bickel, a Linguist at the University of Zurich, and a co-author at the press conference. "Thousands and Thousands of Tests" – i. the involuntary introduction of lab-idlers into speech – "has for many generations left a statistical footprint," he said – the footprint is the current spread of words with labdies. The authors also went deep into the world's languages, finding that "average hunting-gathering societies have only about 27% of the number of lab studies presented by food-producing societies," as noted in the study. Together with evolutionary biology, the researchers conducted a phylogenetic analysis, but instead of tracking the physical changes of the species, they track changes in the Indo-European languages ​​over time. The analysis showed that lab-sounding sounds spread rapidly in other languages.

"In Europe, our data shows that the use of labyrinths has increased dramatically only in the last few millennia, which is related to the growth of food processing technologies such as industrial grinding," Steven Moran, a Linguist at the University of Zurich. and a co-author of the new study, said in a press release.

"This study will come as a surprise to many experts on language and language changes – that certainly surprised me."

It is important that the authors did not take into account changes in brain development or nutritional changes that may have affected this process. As Blazyy noted at the press conference, "We do not make any claims to the brain – we just studied the biomechanical factors."

"This study will come as a surprise to many language and language experts – it certainly surprised me." Tecumseh Fitch, an expert on bioacoustics and language evolution, and a professor of cognitive biology at the University of Vienna, told Gizmodo. "The study is an interdisciplinary tour-de-force, combining methods of biomechanics, bioacoustics, comparative and historical linguistics to inspire new life in the old hypothesis: Changes in the structure of the mouth caused by dietary changes form a historical change in language." ka for the authors relying on "different assumptions and reconstructions" of unknown factors – especially the biting structures of the present and ancient populations, but ultimately he believes they have presented "a very plausible case that will open the door for future detailed research "He added," This is perhaps the most convincing study that still shows how biological constraints on linguistic changes may change over time due to cultural change. "

Ian Madison, a linguist at the University of New Mexico said that "this book is a welcome addition to discussing the extent to which linguistic factors affect the phonetic design of human languages. however, he had some reservations about the new study.

In particular, Maddison is concerned about how the authors categorized and counted certain ladies, saying that there is a lack of consensus on the interpretation of the data used in the study, and that some of the lab-like sounds may be over-listed. In fact, given the novelty of the study and its rather surprising conclusion, it would be a good idea for other researchers to dive and explore this opportunity further. Nevertheless, this article revives the hypothesis proposed for the first time about 35 years ago, and the authors show that this is a topic worth considering.

So the next time you paint a "f" word, be sure to suggest. thanks to your original agricultural ancestors.

[ Science]

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