The language we speak is dependent on our ancestry. But our genes are also responsible for our language. Scottish researchers have come to this conclusion. They examined how English differs from Chinese. In doing so they discovered that genes play a role, too. Because genes influence the development of our brain. That is to say, they shape our brain structures. With this, our ability to learn languages is determined. Variants of two genes are crucial to this. If a particular variant is scarce, tonal languages develop. So tonal languages are spoken by people without these gene variants. In tonal languages, the meaning of words is determined by the pitch of the tones. Chinese is included in the tonal languages, for example. If this gene variant is dominant, however, other languages develop. English is not a tonal language. The variants of this gene are not evenly distributed. That means they occur with differing frequency in the world. But languages only survive if they are passed down. In order to do this, children must be able to imitate the language of their parents. So they must be able to learn the language well. Only then will it be passed down from generation to generation. The older gene variant is the one that promotes tonal languages. So there were probably more tonal languages in the past than there are today. But one mustn't overestimate the genetic components. They can only add to explaining the development of languages. But there isn't a gene for English, or a gene for Chinese. Anybody can learn any language. You don't need genes for that, but rather only curiosity and discipline!
______ is a member of the Tai-Kadai language family.
It is the native language of 20 million people.
In contrast to most western languages, ______ is a tonal language.
In tonal languages, the pronunciation of syllables changes their meaning.
Most ______ words consist of only one syllable.
A word takes on a different meaning depending on the pitch in which a syllable is spoken.
Altogether ______ distinguishes between five pitches.
______ society was strictly divided over many centuries.
As a result, ______ still recognizes at least five different levels of speech today.
These range from a simple vernacular to a very polite form of speech.
Furthermore, ______ is divided into many local dialects.
The language's semiotic system is a hybrid of an alphabet and syllabic writing.
The grammar construction is not very complex.
Because ______ is an isolating language, there are no declensions or conjugations.
Learn ______ - it is really a fascinating language!