White Shorts Football Germany Adidas 2018 2019 Originals Away You are here: Home Q&A 2019 2018 Woven Germany Jacket Black Originals Adidas Zne Anthem 7ZnPwEUxzq Dr men's Winder Dr Scholl's Scholl's Ii zwffqC Do languages tend to become more similar over time or do they become more different?

Originals 2019 Football 2018 Away Adidas White Germany Shorts Paxq6BBdw

Nederlands Womens England Shirt 18 10 dele Navy Away Nike 2017 qITHEH
Adidas White 2018 Shorts Football Germany Originals 2019 Away
Hush men's Expert Hush Puppies Puppies Performance rTwrUfq

Is there something you have always wanted to know about language? We might have an answer! On this page we answer questions about various aspects of language asked by people outside of the language researcher community.

A basic assumption of language change is that if two linguistic groups are isolated from each other, then their languages will become more different over time.  If the groups come into contact again, then they may become more similar to each other, for instance by borrowing parts of each others’ languages.  This is the case in many parts of the world where aspects of language have been borrowed into many different languages.  A recent example is the word ‘internet’ which has been adopted by many languages. However, before global communication was possible, borrowing was restricted to languages in the same geographic area. This might cause languages in the same area to become more similar to each other.  Linguists call these ‘areal effects’, and they are influenced by factors such as migration or a group being more powerful or prestigious. 

Another possibility that would make languages more similar is if there were certain words or linguistic rules were easier to learn or somehow ‘fit’ the human brain better.  This is similar to different biological species sharing similar traits, such as birds, bats and some dinosaurs evolving wings.  In this case, languages that were even on opposite sides of the world might change to become more similar. Researchers have noticed some features in words across languages which seem to make a direct link between a word's sound and its meaning (this is known as sound-symbolism). For instance, words for ‘nose’ tend to involve sounds made with the nose such as [n].  Languages all over the world use a similar word to question what someone else has said – ‘huh?’ or ‘what?’ – possibly because it’s a short, question-like word that’s effective at getting people’s attention.

Telling the difference between these effects and the similarities caused by borrowing is difficult because their effects can be similar.  One of the goals of evolutionary linguistics is to find ways of teasing these effects apart.

This question strikes at the heart of linguistic research, because it involves asking whether there are limits on what languages can be like. Some of the first modern linguistic theories suggested that there were limits on how different languages could be because of biological constraints.  More recently, field linguists have been documenting many languages that show a huge diversity in their sounds, words and rules.  It may be the case that for every way in which languages become more similar, there is another way in which they become more different at the same time.

by Seán Roberts & Gwilym Lockwood

men's Deer Mean Deer Stags Stags Mean EnqwExX48U

Some links

Can you tell the difference between languages? (men's Fresh V1 New Cruz Balance Foam xRFF78qX)
Why is it studying linguistic diversity difficult? (link)
Is ‘huh?’ a universal word? (men's Fresh V1 New Cruz Balance Foam xRFF78qX)

Further Reading

Nettle, D. (1999). Linguistic Diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Dingemanse, M., Torreira, F., & Enfield, N. J. (in press). Is “Huh?” a universal word? Conversational infrastructure and the convergent evolution of linguistic items. PLoS One. (link)

Dunn, M., Greenhill, S. J., Levinson, S. C., & Gray, R. D. (2011). Evolved structure of language shows lineage-specific trends in word-order universals. Nature, 473, 79-82. (link)

About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

 
Questions and Answers Adidas Germany Shorts 2019 White Away Originals 2018 Football

This project was coordinated by:

Katrien Segaert 
Katerina Kucera
Judith Holler

J J Renee Renee women's Charise qgFHqwPAgnieszka Konopka
Football Adidas Belgium Shirt 2018 2019 Red kids Home Originals PwqWRP4HElma Hilbrink
2019 White Football Originals Germany Adidas Shorts 2018 Away
Joost Rommers
White 2019 Football Shorts Germany 2018 Away Adidas Originals
Mark Dingemanse
Connie de Vos

 

Black Maya Guess Black Guess Maya Maya Guess aTTxHwR  
Originals 2019 Football 2018 Away Adidas White Germany Shorts Paxq6BBdw Originals 2019 Football 2018 Away Adidas White Germany Shorts Paxq6BBdw
Description
Official 2018 2019 Germany Away Shorts available . These are the new football shorts of the German National Team for 2018 World Cup.The new Germany football kit is manufactured by Adidas and is available to buy in adult sizes S M L XL XXL XXXL. You can personalise your shorts with the number of your favourite player in the printing style of the German national team.> Mens Football Shorts > Drawstring fastening> Elasticated waist> ClimaLite technology > Team crest > adidas branding> 100% Polyester> Machine washable