Why are there accents

Human Evolution and the Structure of Health and Disease: General Discussion: Why are there accents
Author: Anonymous
Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 10:23 am
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can someone explain why we have so many different races and accents

Author: freyja
Tuesday, January 06, 2004 - 11:02 am
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I believe we have diffrent races because when are ancestors were evolving they lived in diffrent parts of the world. It was benifical for them to adapt to their enviorment by skin color, however that does not mean that we are of diffrent species. All modern humans are homo sapien sapiens regardless of race. As for accents and languages, well as we did live in diffrent places we couldn't all have developed the same language when our vocal chords first started to be able to make sounds. It's interesting that when childrent are small they make all types of sounds from various languages(they have to ability to learn any langauge) yet they are forgotten these sounds as they learn their native language and perhaps one or two other languages. We speak what we hear, if you live in one area long enough your language will probabaly begin to sound more and more like the people you live around. I hope that helped with your question a little.

Author: Jason
Monday, February 09, 2004 - 5:47 pm
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freyja is quite right to explain both language and 'racial' differences as being the result of isolation.

Human groups have diverged a very little bit due to periods of reproductive isolation (with or without geographic isolation).

Likewise, human languages have also diverged due to cultural isolation. Contrary to freyja's statement, it is likely that there was at one point in time a single ancestral language. For, it is far simpler to believe that the genetic changes required to enable the ability of language occured just once in one population. The alternative is for each seperate population to independently evolve the same characters. This seems highly unlikely.

There is a human gene known as FoxP2 that seems to have something to do with bestowing the ability to understand grammar. Humans with non-functioning copies of the gene have difficulty using grammar (amongst other developmental disorders).

Author: Kimberly Loma
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 - 10:52 am
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I really liked freyja's explanation - simple and to the point. Jason added a bit more and actually I'd like to learn more about the gene FoxP2.

It's easy to wonder why we have different races and accents but look at the different environments different people live in. People in other countries have very different climates, food staples, and cultural influences. As for the accents I don't think it's smart to think that 3 billion people scattered all around the world would sound the same, a good example are birds taken from their native homes and placed on an island. There are lots of studies on that - the birds keep some of their natural sound but their songs change.

Author: Marcus Abundis
Saturday, May 08, 2004 - 11:29 am
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I found the book "The Journey of Man - A Genetic Odyssey" by spencer Wells a useful read on this matter. Although it addresses the question of race better than langauge. I think you will find that it agrees mostly with what has already been said.

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