Latest News: Languages

Language study suggests universal sounds: researchers

Monday, September 19, 2016  
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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.”

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