Finding a correlation between climate and the evolution of language, researchers said that languages with complex tones are much more likely to occur in the world’s humid regions.
Similarly, languages with simple tone occur more frequently in desiccated regions, whether frigid areas or dry deserts.
To discover an association between the environment and vocal sounds, researchers found that many languages of the world use tone or pitch to give meaning to their words, Science Daily reported.
“In my estimation, it changes a bit our understanding of how languages evolve,” said Everett, associate professor in the department of anthropology at University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, and lead investigator.
“It does not imply that languages are completely determined by climate, but that climate can, over the long haul, be one of the factors that helps shape languages,” Everett noted.
The findings are supported by data relating to over half of the world’s languages and to previous extensive experimental research on the properties of the human larynx that affect tonality. Most were found in tropical regions, throughout Africa and Southeast Asia, but also in some humid regions of North America, Amazonia and New Guinea.