[ExI] Genes and the Great Vowel Shift

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 22:54:33 UTC 2008

On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 10:20 PM, hkhenson wrote:
>  Now I am well aware that correlation does not equal
>  causation.  Still, I don't see how you can just rule out a possible connection.

Correct. Nobody can *prove* there is no connection.
And neither can you or Clark prove that there is a connection.
We know of no genes that cause this effect, so until you find them.......

Social memes and customs seem much more likely as we see them in
action with our own eyes.

One of the funniest things I ever saw was after a Scottish family
moved down to London. The whole family spoke in broad Scottish accents
(much stronger than Scotty in Star Trek). But the children had to
survive in school where oddities like accents were severely mocked
(and worse).  After a few months, while I was visiting them, I saw the
children coming home from school, shouting and playing with their
school friends. Conversation was in cut-glass upper class accents.
They waved goodbye to their friends then came indoors and spoke to
their parents in broad Scottish accents. I don't think they even
realised what they were doing. They just had one way of talking at
home and a different way at school.

I suppose it is much the same with immigrant children who also speak a
completely different language at home. It isn't driven by genes. It is
learned behaviour.

When printing started in the Renaissance, people learned to read this
new language aloud in the style of where the books were printed
(London for England) and rapidly spread the style outwards. This
happened much too quickly for inherited genes to have anything to do
with it.


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