Breaking Down Sranan Tongo To Understand Linguistic & Cultural Heritage

Creole languages are unique. They are a hodgepodge of languages which arise in situations where people exist without a shared common language. People end up using bits of different languages. Over generations, these admixed languages become fully fledged natural human languages, known as creoles. André Sherriah and Hubert Devonish, two linguists at the University of... Continue Reading →

Linking Early Human Language & Cave Art

Human language is thought to emerge around 100,000 years ago as an abstract symbolic system. It is very likely that humans spoke long before it they wrote. Because the nature of language is largely spoken, it has been hard to find physical evidence of when and how humans began speaking...  Some argue early evidence of... Continue Reading →

What happens when you get a archaeologist, an ecologist, and a paleontologist to in the same room to look at old data with a new lens? You get, "Productivity, biodiversity, and pathogens influence the global hunter-gatherer population density," published in PNAS, where the influence of environmental conditions on the abundance of pre-industrial humans is investigated.... Continue Reading →

Modern Dogs Evolved From A Single Population of Wolves About 40,000 Years Ago

Research led by Krishna Veeramah at Stony Brook University on ancient DNA extracted from two 7,000-year-old and 4,700-year-old dog fossils discovered in Germany indicates modern dogs probably descended from just one population of wolves that lived continuously in Europe for millennia, sometime between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago. They did this by counting the genetic differences, and estimating how... Continue Reading →

The Cardiac Health of the Tsimane

A lot of discussion is constantly had about what is the healthiest diet; low fat or low carb. An interesting study was published in the Lancet recently where anthropologists teamed with cardiologists to study cardiac health of Amazon's Tsimane. The Tsimane are Bolivian. They live off and around the Maniqui River located in the Amazon... Continue Reading →

Using Technology to Save Endangered Languages

There are many endangered languages in our collective linguistic radar. Some of them have been covered here before and some haven't. In 2007, Joshua Hinson of Chickasaw heritage, identified that his language was one the brink of extinction. Rather than blaming technology as contributing source to language loss, Hinson embraced the opportunity to use technology to help save his... Continue Reading →

Over at the Washington Post, there's an interesting article documenting how two Amazonian Awá tribeswomen have escaped the modern life after being forced out of their traditional life styles. The Awá are one of many endangered tribes, threatened out of existence due to deforestation and modernization. Theye estimated to be about 450 people who now mostly... Continue Reading →

No, Neanderthals Didn’t Give Us Schizophrenia

Thanks to twin studies, schizophrenia is one of the few mental illnesses that we know have a genetic inheritance pattern. Schizophrenia often presents as a inability to separate reality from non-reality, where patients often experience hallucinations and stimuli that do not exist, such as hearing voices. Just how this deleterious disease came about to be... Continue Reading →

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