Climate Affects How We Speak

Climate Affects How We Speak (Image 1)

Guess what y’all… languages in humid regions use more complex sounds.

There are roughly 6,500 spoken languages in the world, but new research has revealed that climate may have played a role in how each one developed.  Scientists believe that humidity has a big influence. 

When I was in graduate school, I took speech lessons to lose my southern accent.  I was told that I would have a better chance of getting a higher market TV gig.  Well, I eventually lost the accent… only to gain a new one when I took my first job in Omaha, Nebraska. 

Languages with complex tones tend to develop in humid regions of the world. 

Researchers say it’s all because inhaling dry air can dehydrate the vocal cords and makes them less elastic.  Dry air makes it harder to produce complex tones in words.  Languages in dry climates tend to have imprecise pitch and varying intensity. 

The study also gives credit to climate when it comes to learning new languages.  It can difficult at first and requires the muscles that control the vocal cords to be trained to make new sounds. 

So the next time someone comments on your southern drawl, just blame it on the humidity!

(sources:  Science Daily)

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