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The shape and tempo of language evolution

Greenhill, Simon; Atkinson, QD; Meade, A; Gray, Russell

Description

There are approximately 7000 languages spoken in the world today. This diversity reflects the legacy of thousands of years of cultural evolution. How far back we can trace this history depends largely on the rate at which the different components of language evolve. Rates of lexical evolution are widely thought to impose an upper limit of 6000-10 000 years on reliably identifying language relationships. In contrast, it has been argued that certain structural elements of language are much more...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2010
Type: Journal article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1885/84698
Source: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B: Biological Sciences
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0051

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