Harvard mathematicians have found that words evolve in a concise manner directly related to frequency of usage. The research looked at the evolution of the English language over the past 1,200 years and found that it’s the infrequently-used words with the habit of changing.
Over the last several years, similar petroglyphs have been identified on as many as five continents. They all date from roughly the same time-period. In the late 20th century, archaeologists discovered a collection of symbols carved in stone as petroglyphs in the Negev desert of Israel that appeared to be writing. Dating of these symbols showed that they were made over an extended period time, beginning around 1700 BC.
Is the gap between objective and inner reality the reason we have difficulty understanding large numbers, the way statistics works, scientific theories like quantum physics or how to navigate the complexities of modern society, which is so different from a small tribe of hunter-gatherers?
An Amazonian language with only 300 speakers has no word to express the concept of "one" or any other specific number, according to a new study from an MIT team led by professor of brain and cognitive sciences Edward Gibson. The team found that members of the Piraha tribe in remote northwestern Brazil use language to express relative quantities such as "some" and "more," but not precise numbers.
It has long been agreed upon by researchers that young females and males differ in their language abilities. Women have been far superior. For a long time though it has gone biologically unproven; there has been no discernible difference between the genders.
However researchers from Northwestern University and the University of Haifa have now shown that there are two differences; a) that areas of the brain that are associated with language work more intensely in females than they do for males and b) that the genders rely on different parts of the brain when performing these tasks.
Hungarian scientists are creating new computer software that can analyze dog barks. The program could allow people to better recognize how their dogs are feelings, Hungarian ethologist Csaba Molnar said.
The computer program was able to correctly recognized the emotional reaction of the dogs based on their barks and yelps in 43 percent of the cases. However, people were able to judge correctly almost as well as the program. Even so, the scientists said the software could be improved to make human/dog communication even smoother.
Charlie Mungulda no longer has anyone to speak with in his native tongue. The native Australian is the only person alive on this planet that still speaks Amurdag—just one language of thousands around the world that is about to go extinct. From Siberia to Oklahoma, languages rich in history and tradition are quickly and quietly disappearing from the planet.
Headed by Nobel Laureate physicist Murray Gell-Mann, the international Evolution of Human Languages (EHL) project is developing a freely accessible etymological database of the world's languages. Their goal is to trace all living languages back to a common source, a proto-language of a "proto-world" or "proto-sapiens," which arose only once, they believe, before anatomically modern humans left Africa to colonize the world.
Want to know what is so special about that sentence, apart from its obvious lack of sense?
Each word with a capital letter did not exist prior to 1564. In fact, over 1700 words had never been uttered until 1564 rolled around. Hands up then, if you’re aware of what happened in 1564.