Exploring how diverse social networks reduce accent judgments

Everyone has an accent. But the intelligibility of speech doesn't just depend on that accent; it also depends on the listener. Visual cues and the diversity of the listener's social network can impact their ability to understand ...

Discovery sheds light on why Pacific islands were colonized

The discovery of pottery from the ancient Lapita culture by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) has shed new light on how Papua New Guinea (PNG) served as a launching pad for the colonization of the Pacific—one ...

Linguistic and biological diversity linked

Cultural diversity—indicated by linguistic diversity—and biodiversity are linked, and their connection may be another way to preserve both natural environments and Indigenous populations in Africa and perhaps worldwide, ...

What protects minority languages from extinction?

Over 6,000 languages are currently spoken worldwide, but a substantial minority—well over 5%—are in danger of dying out. It is perhaps surprising that this fraction is no higher, as most models have so far predicted that ...

Language has become a tool for social exclusion

Within a week of the Salzburg Global Seminar's Statement for a Multilingual World launching in February 2018, the document – which calls for policies and practices that support multilingualism – had received 1.5m social ...

Borrowing a leaf from biology to preserve threatened languages

One of the world's 7,000 languages vanishes every other week, and half - including scores of indigenous North American languages—might not survive the 21st century, experts say. To preserve as much linguistic diversity ...

Discovering what shapes language diversity

A team of international researchers, led by Colorado State University's Michael Gavin, have taken a first step in answering fundamental questions about human diversity.

When languages die, we lose a part of who we are

The 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) is in full gear and climate change is again on everyone's mind. It conjures up images of melting glaciers, rising sea levels, droughts, flooding, threatened habitats, endangered species, ...

Economic success drives language extinction

New research shows economic growth to be main driver of language extinction and reveals global 'hotspots' where languages are most under threat.

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