You are here: Home Publications Quantifying geographical determinants of large-scale distributions of linguistic features

Quantifying geographical determinants of large-scale distributions of linguistic features

Hammarstroem, H., & Güldemann, T. (2014). Quantifying geographical determinants of large-scale distributions of linguistic features. Language Dynamics and Change, 4, 87-115. doi:10.1163/22105832-00401002.
In the recent past the work on large-scale linguistic distributions across the globe has intensified considerably. Work on macro-areal relationships in Africa (Güldemann, 2010) suggests that the shape of convergence areas may be determined by climatic factors and geophysical features such as mountains, water bodies, coastlines, etc. Worldwide data is now available for geophysical features as well as linguistic features, including numeral systems and basic constituent order. We explore the possibility that the shape of areal aggregations of individual features in these two linguistic domains correlates with Köppen-Geiger climate zones. Furthermore, we test the hypothesis that the shape of such areal feature aggregations is determined by the contour of adjacent geophysical features like mountain ranges or coastlines. In these first basic tests, we do not find clear evidence that either Köppen-Geiger climate zones or the contours of geophysical features are major predictors for the linguistic data at hand
About MPI

This is the MPI

The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics is an institute of the German Max Planck Society. Our mission is to undertake basic research into the psychological,social and biological foundations of language. The goal is to understand how our minds and brains process language, how language interacts with other aspects of mind, and how we can learn languages of quite different types.

The institute is situated on the campus of the Radboud University. We participate in the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, and have particularly close ties to that institute's Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging. We also participate in the Centre for Language Studies. A joint graduate school, the IMPRS in Language Sciences, links the Donders Institute, the CLS and the MPI.

 

Street address
Wundtlaan 1
6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands


Mailing address
P.O. Box 310
6500 AH Nijmegen
The Netherlands

Phone:   +31-24-3521911
Fax:        +31-24-3521213
E-mail:   


Public Outreach Officer
Charlotte Horn