The average ambient temperature affects how loud we sound. In general, languages in warmer regions are more proficient than those in colder regions, new linguistic research has shown.
Spoken language travels through the air in the form of sound waves. Therefore, the properties of the air around us affect the way we speak and hear.
“On the one hand, the dryness of cold air poses a challenge to the production of sounds. This requires vibrations in the vocal cords. On the other hand, warm air tends to dampen sounds, making sound travel less far,” the researchers explain. Researchers.
We begin to speak louder because the vocal range is smaller in warm air. This is evidenced by research conducted by linguists from all over the world and published in the scientific journal on Tuesday PNAS Association Has been published.
They speak the weakest in North America
Languages spoken near the equator have a smaller range than languages spoken farther from the equator. Many African languages are similar to the languages of Australia and New Zealand.
The Salish languages, a group of 23 languages spoken in northwestern North America, have the broadest range. Speakers of these languages therefore speak softer on average than people who speak other languages.
“There is a clear relationship between the noise amplitude and the mean annual temperature,” lead researcher Soren Wichmann wrote.
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Temperature affects language over time
However, according to scientists, there are some exceptions. Some languages of Central America and Southeast Asia carry long distances, while being spoken in very warm regions. According to the researchers, you can infer from this that the effect of temperature on the range of language sounds develops over a longer period of time.
The study used a large database to test the effect of climate on language size. This database contains the basic vocabulary for 5,293 languages and is constantly being expanded.
This research is important to gain insight into different societies, and learn more about migration, for example. “If languages adapt to their environments in a slow process that takes thousands of years, they also contain clues about the environment of previous languages,” Wichman explains. Scientists can then reconstruct past processes based on language.
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