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Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from oAnth's day by day interests - via its contacts!

subrealism: the biological origin of linguistic diversity

subrealism: the biological origin of linguistic diversity | manually by oAnth - from its contacts |
Just as reading relies on neural mechanisms that pre-date the emergence of writing [17], so perhaps language has evolved to rely on pre-existing brain systems. However, there is more agreement about the origin of linguistic ...

Via Athanasios Karavasilis, oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide"
oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide"'s curator insight, March 10, 2013 6:52 PM



plosone -


(Abstract) In contrast with animal communication systems, diversity is characteristic of almost every aspect of human language. Languages variously employ tones, clicks, or manual signs to signal differences in meaning; some languages lack the noun-verb distinction (e.g., Straits Salish), whereas others have a proliferation of fine-grained syntactic categories (e.g., Tzeltal); and some languages do without morphology (e.g., Mandarin), while others pack a whole sentence into a single word (e.g., Cayuga). A challenge for evolutionary biology is to reconcile the diversity of languages with the high degree of biological uniformity of their speakers. Here, we model processes of language change and geographical dispersion and find a consistent pressure for flexible learning, irrespective of the language being spoken. This pressure arises because flexible learners can best cope with the observed high rates of linguistic change associated with divergent cultural evolution following human migration. Thus, rather than genetic adaptations for specific aspects of language, such as recursion, the coevolution of genes and fast-changing linguistic structure provides the biological basis for linguistic diversity. Only biological adaptations for flexible learning combined with cultural evolution can explain how each child has the potential to learn any human language.



Rescooped by oAnth - "offene Ablage: nothing to hide" from Science News!

World-first hybrid shark found off Australia |

World-first hybrid shark found off Australia | | manually by oAnth - from its contacts |
Scientists said on Tuesday that they had discovered the world's first hybrid sharks in Australian waters, a potential sign the predators were adapting to cope with climate change.




// quotation by oAnth:




The Australian black-tip is slightly smaller than its common cousin and can only live in tropical waters, but its hybrid offspring have been found 2,000 kilometres down the coast, in cooler seas.


It means the Australian black-tip could be adapting to ensure its survival as sea temperatures change because of global warming.


"If it hybridises with the common species it can effectively shift its range further south into cooler waters, so the effect of this hybridising is a range expansion," Morgan said.

"It's enabled a species restricted to the tropics to move into temperate waters."


Climate change and human fishing are some of the potential triggers being investigated by the team, with further genetic mapping also planned to examine whether it was an ancient process just discovered or a more recent phenomenon.





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