Genes: Interactions with Language on Three Levels—Inter-Individual Variation, Historical Correlations and Genetic Biasing

@inproceedings{Dediu2013GenesIW,
  title={Genes: Interactions with Language on Three Levels—Inter-Individual Variation, Historical Correlations and Genetic Biasing},
  author={Dan Dediu},
  year={2013}
}
The complex inter-relationships between genetics and linguistics encompass all four scales highlighted by the contributions to this book and, together with cultural transmission, the genetics of language holds the promise to offer a unitary understanding of this fascinating phenomenon. There are inter-individual differences in genetic makeup which contribute to the obvious fact that we are not identical in the way we understand and use language and, by studying them, we will be able to both… 
Are Languages Really Independent from Genes? If Not, What Would a Genetic Bias Affecting Language Diversity Look Like?
TLDR
Several such models are reviewed as well as the recently proposed case of a causal relationship between the distribution of lone languages and two genes related to brain growth and development, ASPM and Microcephalin, and the relevance of such genetic biasing for language evolution, change, and diversity is discussed.
Context, cognition and communication in language
TLDR
It is argued that experiments are better suited to address questions pertaining to language structure and context, with the central aim being to test how manipulations to context influence the structure and organisation of language.
Individual aptitude in Mandarin lexical tone perception predicts effectiveness of high-variability training
TLDR
Results show that the previously observed interaction between individuals’ aptitude and effects of degree of variability extends to natural tokens of Mandarin speech, however, this interaction was not found in a closely matched study in which native Dutch listeners were trained on the Japanese geminate/singleton consonant contrast.
Individual aptitude in Mandarin lexical tone learning predicts effectiveness of high-variability training
Disclaimer/Complaints regulations If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons.
Linguistic Diversity and Traffic Accidents: Lessons from Statistical Studies of Cultural Traits
TLDR
It is shown that this kind of approach can find links between such unlikely cultural traits as traffic accidents, levels of extra-martial sex, political collectivism and linguistic diversity, and the ease of finding apparently rigorous correlations between cultural traits.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 159 REFERENCES
Language and genes: A new perspective on the origins of human cultural diversity
  • D. Nettle
  • Linguistics
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2007
TLDR
Evidence is presented suggestive of an answer that has seldom been considered before, which is that interpopulation genetic differences may play a role in the historical evolution of any particular language across the possibility space formed by different options.
Are Languages Really Independent from Genes? If Not, What Would a Genetic Bias Affecting Language Diversity Look Like?
TLDR
Several such models are reviewed as well as the recently proposed case of a causal relationship between the distribution of lone languages and two genes related to brain growth and development, ASPM and Microcephalin, and the relevance of such genetic biasing for language evolution, change, and diversity is discussed.
Worldwide analysis of multiple microsatellites: language diversity has a detectable influence on DNA diversity.
TLDR
A large collection of polymorphic microsatellite loci is analyzed, and Ruhlen's linguistic classification is used, to investigate the relative roles of geography and language in shaping the distribution of human DNA diversity at a worldwide scale.
Cultural transmission and evolution: a quantitative approach.
TLDR
A mathematical theory of the non-genetic transmission of cultural traits is developed that provides a framework for future investigations in quantitative social and anthropological science and concludes that cultural transmission is an essential factor in the study of cultural change.
Causal correlations between genes and linguistic features: The mechanism of gradual language evolution
TLDR
It is proposed that this type of genetically-influenced linguistic bias, coupled with a fundamental role for genetic and linguistic diversities, provides a better explanation for the evolution of language and linguistic universals.
Genes and Languages
TLDR
The issues involved in correlating these disciplines and some of the problems involved are discussed, and it is argued that correlation cannot be an a priori assumption, but must be proved prior to or as part of each investigation.
Language as shaped by the brain.
TLDR
This work concludes that a biologically determined UG is not evolutionarily viable, and suggests that apparently arbitrary aspects of linguistic structure may result from general learning and processing biases deriving from the structure of thought processes, perceptuo-motor factors, cognitive limitations, and pragmatics.
On the Origin of Languages: Studies in Linguistic Taxonomy
This book presents a series of illuminating studies which conclusively demonstrates that the prevailing conception of historical linguistics is deeply flawed. Most linguists today believe that there
Speaking of Forked Tongues: The Feasibility of Reconciling Human Phylogeny and the History of Language [and Comments]
TLDR
It is concluded that different processes and rates of evolution and radiation in human populations and languages will continue to complicate attempts to recover "racial" phylogenies, but these difficulties may not be insuperable, particularly if initial studies sample a regional rather than a global catchment.
Genetics and the development of language disabilities and abilities
Abstract Genetic research has been slow to come to the field of language development, but during the past decade it has begun to make up for lost time. Research suggests that language disabilities in
...
...