Language study suggests universal sounds: researchers
Monday, September 19, 2016
Humans worldwide might be speaking the same language – sort of.
After analyzing word lists covering nearly two-thirds of the world’s languages, researchers found that unrelated languages very often use or avoid the same sound for specific referents.
“For instance, words for tongue tend to have l or u, ‘round’ often appears with r, and ‘small’ with i,” study authors write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “These striking similarities call for a reexamination of the fundamental assumption of the arbitrariness of the sign.”