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Why are so many languages spoken in some places and so few in others?

Languages

Scientists have few clear answers about what caused the start of thousands of languages.

Collectively, people speak more than 7,000 distinct languages, with more languages spoken in tropical regions than in temperate areas.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Why are so many languages spoken in some places and so few in others?

Why are so many languages spoken in some places and so few in others?

http://theconversation.com/why-are-so-many-languages-spoken-in-some-places-and-so-few-in-others-116573

theconversation.com

3

Key Ideas

Languages

Scientists have few clear answers about what caused the start of thousands of languages.

Collectively, people speak more than 7,000 distinct languages, with more languages spoken in tropical regions than in temperate areas.

Language creates boundaries

There are many theories of how the world's languages might have diversified. The common thread is that languages are markers of social boundaries between human groups. People with a common language share a common means of communication.

Any factor that might create or weaken the social or physical barriers between groups may also influence the start or end of languages.

Factors that influence language diversity

One research group tried to understand which factors had the most influence of language diversity in different areas, using statistical techniques that combined ideas from linguists, ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and geographers.

They found that the most important variables associated with language diversity varied from one part to another. There is not one single factor that can explain patterns of language diversity everywhere.

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