A recent study by a language-processing company called Idibon tried to establish not which languages are “hard”, but which are “weird”. It used a resource called the World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS). WALS indexes hundreds of languages across hundreds of different features (from whether verbs precede objects to whether the language uses click-sounds as consonants). The Idibon study tried to find which languages use the greatest number of unusual features—ie, those features shared with few other languages. But for tricky methodological reasons, the study had to limit itself 21 features. The languages that have the least “normal” values of these 21 features are the “weirdest”.
Three scholars in New Zealand have confirmed, that the homeland of the Austronesian language group is Taiwan, an argument Jared Diamond supported in Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.
Hmmm….how many nodes of human language does Beijing really need to control?
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