Geography influences language sounds, study says

06/17/2013 | National Geographic News

A study by an anthropological linguist found that languages spoken in high altitudes are more likely to include ejective consonants, a sound made by short bursts of air not found in the English language. It is the first study to present conclusive evidence that language sounds can be influenced by geography. "Some people will argue that this is just a historical accident, that it just so happens that the languages that have ejectives are spoken at high altitudes. That's possible, but it's pretty unlikely," said Caleb Everett, the study's author.

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