Geographical Origins of Language Structures
81 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2018
Date Written: January 5, 2018
This research explores the geographical origins of the coevolution of cultural and linguistic traits in the course of human history, relating the geographical roots of long-term orientation to the structure of the future tense, the agricultural determinants of gender bias to the presence of sex-based grammatical gender, and the ecological origins of hierarchical orientation to the existence of politeness distinctions. The study advances the hypothesis and establishes empirically that: (i) variations in geographical characteristics that were conducive to higher natural return to agricultural investment contributed to the existing cross-language variations in the structure of the future tense, (ii) the agricultural determinants of gender gap in agricultural productivity fostered the existence of sex-based grammatical gender, and (iii) the ecological origins of hierarchical societies triggered the emergence of politeness distinctions.
Keywords: Comparative Development, Cultural Evolution, Language Structure, Future Tense, Politeness Distinctions, Long-Term Orientation, Grammatical Gender, Gender Bias, Hierarchy, Emergence of States
JEL Classification: D01, D03, J16, O10, O40, Z10, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation