Origins of Indo-European languages, new phonological section highlight Language issue
(Press-News.org) The March 2015 issue of Language, the flagship scholarly journal of the Linguistic Society of America, is now available online:
Highlights of the March issue include a paper on the origins of Indo-European languages which has already been the subject of significant interest, as well as the inaugural article of Language's new online section for "Phonological Analysis".
"Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis", by Will Chang, Chundra Cathcart, David Hall and Andrew Garrett (all of UC-Berkeley), provides new support for the "steppe hypothesis" or "Kurgan hypothesis", which proposes that Indo-European languages first spread with cultural developments in animal husbandry around 4500 - 3500 BCE.
Chang et al. examined over 200 sets of words from living and historical Indo-European languages. After determining how quickly these words changed over time through statistical modeling, they concluded that the rate of change indicated that the languages which first used these words began to diverge approximately 6,500 years ago, in accordance with the steppe hypothesis. A pre-print version of this article released by the Linguistic Society of America in February received considerable discussion from news media, including the New York Times, Science, and PBS.
The March issue of Language also marks the debut of "Phonological Analysis", a new online-only section of Language dedicated to detailed examination of phonological data, theories, and models. The inaugural article of Phonological Analysis, "The foot domain in Bambara" (Christopher R. Green; University of Maryland - CASL), examines the role of the metrical foot, a linguistic unit built from syllables, in Bambara, a language spoken in Mali and western Africa. Using an array of primary data, Green demonstrates that a single assignment of metrical feet in Bambara unifies a set of linguistic phenomena previously thought to be separate.
Phonological Analysis is the newest of several online-only sections to be added to Language; other recent additions include sections on "Teaching Linguistics" and "Language and Public Policy".
Other articles in the March issue of Language include:
"Invariance in argument realization: The case of Iroquoian" (Jean-Pierre Koenig and Karin Michelson)
"Learning nonadjacent dependencies in phonology: Transparent vowels in vowel harmony" (Sara Finley)
"Rare-class adjectives in the tough construction" (Nicholas Fleisher)
"The real-time comprehension of WH-dependencies in a WH-agreement language" (Matthew Wagers, Manuel F. Borja, and Sandra Chung)
"Morphosyntactic complexity: a typology of lexical splits" (Greville G. Corbett)
The newest issue of Language is now available on Project MUSE, and is free to access for all LSA members and institutional subscribers. (The Chang et al. article is still freely available in preprint form.) Those interested in becoming a subscriber to Language and a member of the LSA can learn more on the LSA website:
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
A plant scientist from The Australian National University (ANU) has called for the United Nations to guarantee free and open access to plant DNA sequences to enable scientists to continue work to sustainably intensify world food production.
Dr Norman Warthmann, a plant geneticist at the ANU Research School of Biology, has lodged a submission with the UN, which is currently considering issues to include in its 2015 Global Sustainable Development Report.
Food security depends on an acceleration in plant breeding, which could be threatened by private companies restricting ...
The first blood test for osteoarthritis could soon be developed, thanks to research by the University of Warwick.
The research findings could potentially lead to patients being tested for osteoarthritis and diagnosed several years before the onset of physical symptoms.
Conducted by the University's Medical School, the research identified a biomarker linked to both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
Whilst there are established tests for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the newly identified biomarker could lead to one which can diagnose both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis ...
Sipuleucel-T (trade name Provenge) has been approved since September 2014 for men with metastatic prostate cancer who have few or no symptoms and do not yet require chemotherapy. In the dossier assessment conducted by the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) in January 2015, no added benefit could be derived for sipuleucel-T.
In an addendum, the Institute now examined information subsequently submitted by the manufacturer in the commenting procedure: According to the findings, there is an indication of added benefit; however, the extent is ...
Adapting to climate change could have profound environmental repercussions, according to a new study from the University of East Anglia.
Research in Nature Climate Change reveals that adaptation measures have the potential to generate further pressures and threats for both local and global ecosystems.
Lead researcher Dr Carlo Fezzi, from UEA's School of Environmental Sciences, said: "Climate change is a just a little bit more complicated than we previously thought. We need to take into account not only the direct impact of climate change, but also how people will respond ...
Scientists should reduce antibiotic use in lab experiments - according to a researcher at the University of East Anglia.
Microbiology, molecular biology and genetic research such as the Human Genome Project use antibiotics in experiments.
But it all adds to the global problem of antibiotic resistance according to Dr Laura Bowater, from UEA's Norwich Medical School.
A new article published today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy highlights the problem.
Dr Bowater said: "The discovery of antibiotics was heralded as a magic bullet for modern medicine. Using ...
This news release is available in French. In 1971 there were 139,000 Canadians aged 85 and over. By 2013 their numbers had risen to 702,000. The Oldest Old as they have become known today represent 2% of the total Canadian population. "They are a demographic reality which has to be taken into account in formulating public policy", according to Jacques Légaré, a demographer at the University of Montreal, who is presenting a report on this phenomenon this week to more than a hundred experts meeting at the Population Change and Lifecourse Strategic Knowledge ...
Suspending kids from school for using marijuana is likely to lead to more -- not less -- pot use among their classmates, a new study finds.
Counseling was found to be a much more effective means of combating marijuana use. And while enforcement of anti-drug policies is a key factor in whether teens use marijuana, the way schools respond to policy violators matters greatly.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington and in Australia, compared drug policies at schools in Washington state and Victoria, Australia, to determine how they impacted ...
Deadly familial stomach and lobular breast cancers could be successfully treated at their earliest stages, or even prevented, by existing drugs that have been newly identified by cancer genetics researchers at New Zealand's University of Otago.
The researchers, led by Professor Parry Guilford, show for the first time that the key genetic mutation underlying the devastating conditions also opens them to attack through drug therapies targeting other cellular mechanisms.
There is currently no treatment for this kind of gastric cancer other than surgical removal of the ...
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- If every new car made in the United States had a built-in blood alcohol level tester that prevented impaired drivers from driving the vehicle, how many lives could be saved, injuries prevented, and injury-related dollars left unspent?
Researchers at the University of Michigan Injury Center and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute studied the impact of installing these alcohol ignition interlock devices in all newly purchased vehicles over a 15-year period; their estimates of injury prevention and cost savings are significant.
Research at the University of Adelaide's Waite campus has shed light on the action of the serious agricultural pest, cereal cyst nematode, which will help progress improved resistant varieties.
Published in the journal New Phytologist, the researchers showed how the composition of the cell wall that surrounds the feeding sites of these tiny parasitic worms in the plant roots differs between resistant and susceptible varieties of barley.
"A type of fibre that we usually associate with wholegrain and healthy foods ? beta-glucan ? accumulates in the cell walls surrounding ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES: