Using this database, Cysouw’s team repeated Atkinson’s technique and found two separate geographic origins for language, one in East Africa and another in West Asia’s Caucasus region, with a large swath of the Middle East and South Africa also possible. Crucially, Cysouw’s analysis suggests that none of these regions contain phoneme-rich languages that stand out as having far more speech sounds than any of the others.I've contacted Dr. Cysouw to see if anything on this has been published/is available, and I will update this blog entry if it has.
November 05, 2011
Darwinian linguistic controversies
There is an interesting essay titled Darwin's Tongues, which covers some of the controversies associated with the use of biological evolutionary methods on linguistic problems. A couple of the papers mentioned in the article are Dunn et al. (2011) and Atkinson (2011). This little bit sparked my interest: