Darwin-L Message Log 5:174 (January 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

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<5:174>From ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu  Thu Jan 27 09:17:26 1994

Date: Thu, 27 Jan 1994 10:27:38 -0500
To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: ahouse@hydra.rose.brandeis.edu (Jeremy Creighton Ahouse)
Subject: re language adaptation

>I know that the claim has been made in the past, as Tom Cravens
>has already pointed out, that climate might have an effect on the
>way speakers might articulate the sounds of their language and thus
>lead to change in pronunciation.

        Just to muddy the waters a bit.  There is interesting evidence that
birdsong can be correlated with the structure of the acoustic environment.
The songs chosen tend to carry well in the local environment (chirps in a
thicket and screeches in open areas (e.g. crows)).  This work was done in
part by playing white noise through an environment and seeing what was
getting through and noticing that this correlated with the spectrum of the
songs being sung there.  (There must also be constraints in sound
production, and reception that effect this transaction.)

        - Jeremy

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