2018 Student Research Conference:
31st Annual Student Research Conference

Word Order and Latitude

Margaret M. Wilcox
Dr. Amber Johnson, Faculty Mentor

Human macroecology examines large-scale and temporal patterns using multivariate analysis in order to determine the environment’s impact on humans. Language is one aspect of human evolution. Word order frequency is mapped and measured against latitudinal regions to determine if environmental factors also affect the very structure of language globally. It is statistically significant that there is greater word order frequency in the tropics than in areas farther from the equator. While it is possible that greater word order diversity in the tropics simply results from greater linguistic diversity in this region in general, this finding opens the possibility of further research regarding how specific environmental variables affect word order patterns both globally and regionally.

Keywords: human macroecology, word order , structural linguistics, latitude , environmental variables, language distribution

Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 411-2
Location: VH 1320
Time: 2:45

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