A change in our diets may have changed the way we speak
You might be able to thank agriculture for a rise in the use of "f" and "v" sounds, a controversial new study suggests.
As the saying goes, we are what we eat—but does that aspect of our identity carry over to the languages we speak?
In a new study in Science, a team of linguists at the University of Zurich uses biomechanics and linguistic evidence to make the case that the rise of agriculture thousands of years ago increased the odds that populations would start to use sounds such as f and v. The idea is that agriculture introduced a range of softer foods into human diets, which altered how humans' teeth and jaws wore down with age in ways that made these sounds slightly easier to produce.
“I hope our study will trigger a wider discussion on the fact that at least some