Changes in Diet May Have Fostered Changes in Speech

www.archaeology.org | 3/15/2019 | Staff
katz1234 (Posted by) Level 3
(Timea Bodogán)ZURICH, SWITZERLAND—According to a report in Science, the spread of agriculture and consumption of easier-to-chew foods may have led to changes in human jaws and their arrangement of teeth, which in turn allowed people to make new sounds and create new words. In the 1980s, linguist Charles Hockett suggested that chewing tough, gritty food would have put force on hunter-gatherers’ lower jaws, making the bone grow larger so that the upper and lower teeth aligned in an “edge-to-edge” bite. Such a bite would have made it hard to push the upper jaw forward to make the sounds “f” and “v,” Hockett reasoned. Linguist Balthasar Bickel of the University of Zurich and his colleagues used computer...
(Excerpt) Read more at: www.archaeology.org
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