Geographical Roots of the Coevolution of Cultural and Linguistic Traits
85 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 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) 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 structures, future tense, politeness distinctions, long-term orientation, grammatical gender, gender bias, hierarchy, emergence of states
JEL Classification: O10, Z10, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation