Unrelated Languages Often Use Same Sounds for Common Objects and Ideas, Research Finds
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Posted by: Dana Walker
The new research, led by Prof. Morten Christiansen of Cornell University, demonstrates a
robust statistical relationship between certain basic concepts – from body parts to familial relationships and aspects of the natural world – and the sounds humans around the world use to describe them.
“These sound symbolic patterns show up again and again across the world, independent of the geographical dispersal of humans and independent of language lineage,” Prof. Christiansen said.
“There does seem to be something about the human condition that leads to these patterns. We don’t know what it is, but we know it’s there.”