[ExI] Genes and the Great Vowel Shift

Damien Broderick thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Feb 24 19:54:41 UTC 2008

At 12:34 PM 2/24/2008 -0700, Keith wrote:

>To say that genes cause no bias in the way a language drifts seems to
>be making an unsupportable statement ...
>Likewise a culture where all the kids had genetically caused cleft palates.

Wow. Now you're *really* reaching. :)

Don't forget those with genes for no head at all, or for mouths in 
the middle of their knees.

I think it's unlikely that genes among European sub-populations 
modify accents derived from Indo-European languages (or whatever it's 
called these days), which is what we're talking about with the Great 
Vowel Shift--although I have seen suggestions that Asians might have 
alleles that make it easier to pick up and maybe articulate tonal languages.

Damien Broderick

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