0:00:16Good morning everyone.
0:00:19Thank you so much Haizhou for your
0:00:23very kind introduction.
0:00:26And I also want to thank the organising committee
0:00:30for giving me this chance to comment,
0:00:34interact with colleagues from so many different fields, from so many different areas.
0:00:45is a fundamental defining characteristic of our species.
0:00:53our species is called
0:00:55Homo sapiens,
0:00:58but I'm not sure we deserve the word sapiens.
0:01:03More likely,
0:01:05some people said, we should be called
0:01:07Homo loquens (talking man),
0:01:11we're talking all the time, we're using speech all the time.
0:01:16Because it's so fundamental, it's also
0:01:20extremely complex.
0:01:23I'm reminded of the cartoon that
0:01:27Ray Liu showed yesterday
0:01:30of an ocean of knowledge and
0:01:33a few islands popping out.
0:01:37Our job
0:01:38is to build bridges
0:01:40among those islands.
0:01:43An island of electronic engineering,
0:01:46island of linguistics,
0:01:49computer science,
0:01:54Each one
0:01:56gives us an important window on speech.
0:02:00And we need to connect them together.
0:02:05The theme of this
0:02:08is the Diversity
0:02:10of Spoken Language.
0:02:14So this is the outlining
0:02:18of my remarks today.
0:02:21I will begin by asking, How is speech possible?
0:02:27and I'll say something about
0:02:29African origins,
0:02:32the diversity that we see today in genes
0:02:37and in words,
0:02:40then I will proceed to
0:02:43present three
0:02:45case studies
0:02:47of sound patterns in motion.
0:02:52hardly ever
0:02:54behave as individuals.
0:02:57They always
0:02:58configure in patterns and move in patterns.
0:03:03And I will
0:03:06discuss consonants.
0:03:08How they moved
0:03:10with respect to Grimm's Law.
0:03:14I will talk about vowels and
0:03:17the Great Vowel Shift
0:03:20in the history of English.
0:03:23And I will talk about something that's not
0:03:25found in all languages. Consonants and vowels are found in
0:03:29all languages.
0:03:32But in several thousand languages of the World you find tones.
0:03:36And I will say something about how tones move.
0:03:41And if there's time, I'd like to say something about speech and music.
0:03:45Two cultural universals.
0:03:49cultural aspects that's present in every group
0:03:53of human beings.
0:03:55And I will close off.
0:04:04I saw this cartoon few months ago and I thought maybe it's relevant.
0:04:10Here you have one dolphin talking to another.
0:04:15Although humans make sounds with their mouths,
0:04:19occasionally look at each other,
0:04:22there is no solid evidence that they actually communicate among themselves.
0:04:30If somebody came up to me and looked at me and spoken Tamil.
0:04:37I wouldn't understand him.
0:04:44or Caucasian,
0:04:46or Abkhaz.
0:04:51So in that sense our species is unique.
0:04:56There is no other species
0:04:58that have such great systematic diversity
0:05:02among system of communication.
0:05:05Diversity of language
0:05:07is something unique to our species.
0:05:12How did this
0:05:13diversity come about?
0:05:17Well, here's one story.
0:05:19Lori Lamel
0:05:20yesterday also
0:05:22showed this beautiful painting by
0:05:28It is based on the story of The Book of Genesis.
0:05:34God was annoyed
0:05:37that people
0:05:39had the hubris and
0:05:41the arrogance
0:05:43of building
0:05:45a tower so high to reach the sky.
0:05:48So God said, Go to, let us go down,
0:05:52and there confound their language,
0:05:56so that they may not understand
0:05:58one another's speech.
0:06:03Actually people all over the world
0:06:07ethnographies told us,
0:06:10have a very similar accounts
0:06:12of creations and origins and so on.
0:06:16My purpose this morning is to look at
0:06:22more from
0:06:23evolutionary perspective.
0:06:28The key concept
0:06:31behind diversity
0:06:33is innovation.
0:06:37In biological evolution
0:06:41every generation of giraffes
0:06:45has a certain degree of variation
0:06:48in how long their neck is.
0:06:52Every generation of wolves
0:06:54have a certain variation
0:06:57in how long their canine teeth are for fighting.
0:07:02So nature selects,
0:07:04there's variation.
0:07:06As you innovate,
0:07:08every generation has its variation.
0:07:11And nature selects.
0:07:14Similarly language.
0:07:19Every infant,
0:07:21in trying to reconstruct a language based on the
0:07:24sounds, based on the language context in which it's born,
0:07:30And these innovations
0:07:32mostly go by the wayside.
0:07:35Many of them
0:07:36are selected culturally rather than biologically
0:07:40and persevere.
0:07:43And as these innovations build up, accumulate more and more,
0:07:48pretty soon
0:07:50you won't be able to talk to each other anymore.
0:07:53So, in biological evolution the innovations build up.
0:07:57There's no longer mutual
0:08:03You get a new species
0:08:06in speech.
0:08:07As these innovations become numerous,
0:08:10build up over generation after generation,
0:08:13you lose mutual intelligibility
0:08:16and you have a new language.
0:08:22So, the sounds as I said earlier
0:08:26are not individuals.
0:08:28They form natural patterns
0:08:31and together
0:08:34move in these patterns.
0:08:39As these
0:08:40innovations take place,
0:08:42the social values attached to them.
0:08:47Many of you may have enjoyed this great movie My Fair Lady.
0:08:52Henry Higgins in the movie was actually based on the real English phonetician called Henry
0:09:01But in the movie of course they took various liberties.
0:09:04Here's Henry Higgins saying,
0:09:07An Englishman's way of speaking
0:09:10absolutely classifies him.
0:09:13The moment he talks
0:09:15he makes some other Englishman
0:09:17despise him.
0:09:19One common language I'm afraid we'll never get.
0:09:25Oh, why can't the English learn to set a good example to people whose English
0:09:31is painful to your ears?
0:09:33The Scotch and the Irish
0:09:35leave you close to tears.
0:09:38Maybe that's why Scotch want independence.
0:09:42Anyway according to Higgins,
0:09:45There even are places where English completely disappears.
0:09:49In America, they happen't used it for years!
0:09:57Each one of us has to make a whole series of personal decisions when we
0:10:05When I went to Hong Kong,
0:10:10I noticed that in the textbook
0:10:13to say you
0:10:14in Cantonese
0:10:16it's nay
0:10:18with an n.
0:10:20You find n in most of the Chinese dialects. In Mandarin it's nee
0:10:25So I was told it's nay.
0:10:28But as I
0:10:29walked around the campus,
0:10:31I noticed the young people don't say nay they all say lay.
0:10:38The textbook says woo is gho
0:10:41whether ??real/rear or nasal.
0:10:43But the young people don't say gho, they say who.
0:10:48So should I say
0:10:51Closer to my native dialect
0:10:54or should I try to be fashionable and say lay?
0:10:59Lay is kinda not my age.
0:11:02So, there are all these personal decisions
0:11:05and these decisions build up
0:11:08for group solidarity,
0:11:11for group distinctions, and so on, and on and on
0:11:15over the generations
0:11:16new languages arise.
0:11:20But let's take a look much for the back in time.
0:11:25When did speech get it's first shot?
0:11:29When did speech
0:11:31start its trajectory?
0:11:36I think a good case can be made for
0:11:39over three million years ago,
0:11:43In the region in Ethiopia
0:11:45a bunch of physical anthropologists
0:11:49were very lucky
0:11:50and discovered
0:11:52a relatively complete fossil of a
0:11:56young woman,
0:11:58middle teens,
0:11:59called Lucy.
0:12:02By studying Lucy
0:12:04in great detail,
0:12:06her hip bones
0:12:08her ankle bones, her scull and so on,
0:12:11they determined
0:12:14that Lucy walked.
0:12:16Lucy had erect posture,
0:12:18essentially as we do.
0:12:22So Lucy had made the transition to bipedal posture.
0:12:28this is the reconstruction
0:12:36This by itself, of course, is only part of the evidence.
0:12:41Another part of the evidence which is also quite solid
0:12:45is that they found, around the same time not very far from
0:12:48this region called Afar,
0:12:53covered by volcanic ash, so it's nicely preserved.
0:12:58And here's the great
0:13:00anthropologist by the name Mary Leakey
0:13:04measuring in great detail
0:13:07a whole string of footprints
0:13:10and these footprints proved beyond doubt that over three million years ago
0:13:16our ancestors were walking.
0:13:21What are the implications of walking?
0:13:25Well, in this excellent book written by Daniel Lieberman
0:13:28called The Story of the Human Body
0:13:31he contrasts
0:13:34skeleton structure of the modern human
0:13:39with that of the chimpanzee
0:13:41and indeed there are many differences, many adaptations.
0:13:48For us
0:13:49perhaps the most important
0:13:51is the restructuring of the entire upper body
0:13:58and the head.
0:14:01Rather than hanging forward
0:14:04and help by muscle
0:14:06the head's resting squarely
0:14:08on the
0:14:09cervical vertebrae,
0:14:11or the spinal column.
0:14:19effortless for me to stand here,
0:14:22not for a chimp.
0:14:24I can lock my knees,
0:14:27my skull is resting, its weight is on the spinal column.
0:14:34There are many implications
0:14:37of this new posture.
0:14:39And immediate one of course, it freed our hands.
0:14:43We became
0:14:45tool makers in a serious sense.
0:14:50Another very important adaptation
0:14:54is that because of the restructuring of our heads
0:14:59our larynx
0:15:01has descended.
0:15:06This is from a book
0:15:07by Fitch, professor at Vienna.
0:15:13And it shows the descent of the larynx
0:15:19as well as the hyoid bone,
0:15:21here's the thyroid cartilage and so on.
0:15:28Even more clearly,
0:15:30Daniel Lieberman's book,
0:15:32makes it
0:15:34very obvious why this is important for speech.
0:15:39In the chimpanzee for instance whereas there's essentially just one resonance tube
0:15:46to produce vocal sounds,
0:15:50in our case
0:15:51with the larynx
0:15:55here's the larynx with the larynx lowered,
0:15:57we now have two tubes.
0:16:01A tube
0:16:03that's the mouth
0:16:05and another tube that's the throat.
0:16:09And with the agile movement of the tongue
0:16:13you can form much greater variety of phonetic distinctions.
0:16:20And this of course is also extremely important,
0:16:27but it's useless to have all that hardware
0:16:31unless we have the proper
0:16:33control mechanisms
0:16:35and then control mechanisms
0:16:37right in the brain.
0:16:41Usually we see pictures of the
0:16:45hemispheres of the brain,
0:16:47but here's a nice picture
0:16:50of the base of the brain.
0:16:53If we lifted up the head
0:16:56and looked at the brain from bottom-up,
0:17:00we'll see a picture something like this.
0:17:04Here's the temporal lobe, here's the frontal lobe.
0:17:09The point that I wanna make
0:17:11is that most of the cranial nerves,
0:17:15twelve pairs coming out from the base brain,
0:17:20most of them
0:17:21are involved in speech.
0:17:24That's how important the speech is
0:17:29our life.
0:17:32Henry Lenneberg,
0:17:34some years ago,
0:17:36published this
0:17:38very nice diagram
0:17:40showing the various nerves.
0:17:43Here's the facial nerve,
0:17:46which is cranial nerve pair number seven.
0:17:51Here is (a) which is the trigeminal nerve
0:17:56and perhaps the most
0:17:58noticeable one
0:18:01is this one that starts from around here in the base stand,
0:18:05goes down all the way,
0:18:08curls around the aorta of the heart
0:18:12and goes back up
0:18:14to control the larynx.
0:18:17This is of course an effect of ascending up.
0:18:23So five hairs of the twelve pairs of cranial nerves are involved in
0:18:28controlling speech,
0:18:29jaw movement, lip movement, larynx, tongue and so on.
0:18:40So, probably
0:18:41given both the
0:18:43software in the head,
0:18:46hardware in the throat and the mouth,
0:18:50by about a hundred thousand years ago
0:18:54our life
0:18:56took a very important turn.
0:19:01We left Africa.
0:19:06Leaving Africa
0:19:08is a hypothesis
0:19:10that even Darwin mentioned
0:19:13in the,
0:19:151871 book, Descent of Man.
0:19:19But it's only within recent decade that the evidence become so strong.
0:19:25The earliest evidence came in the 1980's
0:19:29with mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial is only materially transmitted
0:19:36and then came a whole spate of studies based on y-chromosome,
0:19:41which is paternally transmitted
0:19:44and now
0:19:46they can do a huge amount of study
0:19:49based on
0:19:50single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
0:19:53And it's largely
0:19:55these genetic studies that leads to this picture
0:19:59which was published in PNAS
0:20:02a couple years ago
0:20:05by a group of a geneticists at Stanford University.
0:20:12So the scenario,
0:20:14the best knowledge that we have for now,
0:20:18is that humans
0:20:19originated in Africa.
0:20:23The earliest fossils take back to about hundred and fifty thousand years ago.
0:20:30various genetic mutations took place
0:20:34at around the same time. For instance
0:20:37we have a particular version
0:20:39of a gene called FOXP2,
0:20:43Our version of the FOXP2 evolved probably
0:20:46also around that time.
0:20:48A whole bunch of things happened around that time
0:20:53emigration started.
0:20:55First to Asia,
0:20:57back to Europe,
0:20:59down to Oceania,
0:21:02across the Bering Strait into the Americas.
0:21:05And very quickly
0:21:06all the way down to the, tip of South America, Tierra Del Fuego.
0:21:13So here is an example of a genetic study,
0:21:16done essentially by the same group at Stanford,
0:21:21how the
0:21:22SNP, single-nucleotide
0:21:25polymorphisms are related.
0:21:27So here's the root of the tree
0:21:31and in constructing these phylogenetic trees
0:21:34often you have to take
0:21:37Outgroup in this case is the chimpanzee.
0:21:40Chimpanzee diverged from us about six million years ago.
0:21:46the chimpanzee provided a good
0:21:48routing of the tree.
0:21:51These are all Africans
0:21:54and then step by step populate in the world.
0:21:59Here's Asia,
0:22:02here's the northeast,
0:22:06here is
0:22:07South America
0:22:09and here are the
0:22:11Pacific Islands.
0:22:17What about language?
0:22:20Obviously one people left.
0:22:23They brought their languages with them.
0:22:26And another
0:22:28Stanford scholar professor Joseph Greenberg, was
0:22:31actually my teacher,
0:22:38all of the seven thousand
0:22:41or so languages of the world
0:22:44into these major
0:22:50So, for instance, again just as with people,
0:22:55languages have the greatest diversity in Africa.
0:23:01A very successful
0:23:04family of languages
0:23:05is called Eurasiatic.
0:23:11Europe .. Asia. Eurasiatic.
0:23:16And within this family
0:23:18there's one sub-family that's
0:23:22dominant. That's called Indo-European.
0:23:27Indo-European because at one end you have India
0:23:31at the other end
0:23:32you have Europe extending all the way to Iceland.
0:23:37So English
0:23:40is Eurasiatic,
0:23:42because English
0:23:44is West Germanic. Germanic .. Indo-European ..
0:23:49Going up the family tree.
0:23:53Another language here .. Tamil.
0:23:56Tamil is not related to any of the Eurasiatic languages.
0:24:00Tamil is a member of Dravidian family.
0:24:06Earliest forms of Tamil actually
0:24:08were found
0:24:10much more
0:24:14Where it's not spoken.
0:24:16It was founded in the Indus Valley.
0:24:19With the coming of the Indo-Europeans
0:24:21they were push further and further south, so that
0:24:25Tamil is now in this small region here.
0:24:31Malay as we saw in the last slide
0:24:34is an Oceanian language
0:24:38has a relatively recent history,
0:24:41but what about Chinese?
0:24:45Chinese belongs to a family called Sino-Tibetan.
0:24:49Chinese is related to Tibetan.
0:24:52Well, recognized
0:24:53over a hundred years ago.
0:24:58more recently
0:24:59people like Greenberg say Chinese
0:25:02is Dene-Caucasian.
0:25:05Chinese is here in red,
0:25:07but there are spots of red
0:25:11all over the world.
0:25:14According to several very eminent linguists, Greenberg's one of them,
0:25:18Sergei Starostin in Moscow is another one, okay,
0:25:23say all these languages are related.
0:25:26Chinese is related
0:25:27not only to Tibetan,
0:25:29but also to the Yeniseian languages.
0:25:33But not only to the Yeniseian languages,
0:25:35but all the way across Bering Strait
0:25:38the Athabaskan languages.
0:25:40Including for instance
0:25:46together with genes, archaeology and so on
0:25:50we are getting a better notion
0:25:54of what we come from
0:25:56and speech plays a very important role here.
0:26:02Given all these languages,
0:26:04how do we classify them?
0:26:07Well, one way to classify is very straightforward, you know, where is it spoken?
0:26:14This gives us a geographical distribution.
0:26:19Another way is
0:26:22What kind of structure does it have?
0:26:26Does it have a gender system?
0:26:30Is indirect object before the direct object?
0:26:34Or is the other way?
0:26:36Does it have tongues?
0:26:39These are typological features.
0:26:40So, this is a second way of classifying languages.
0:26:44And the third way of classifying languages,
0:26:46what is it related to?
0:26:49Is Chinese related to Tibetan?
0:26:51Is Tamil related to Telugu?
0:26:54Which it is.
0:26:55So on.
0:27:02genetic or
0:27:03historical relationship
0:27:06and typological relationship
0:27:10classified differently.
0:27:13English for instance, as I said a few minutes ago,
0:27:16is the Germanic language.
0:27:18But it doesn't look anything like German.
0:27:21English does not have chen (suffix),
0:27:23a gender system.
0:27:24German has three genders: masculine, feminine, neuter.
0:27:30In English the primary
0:27:32order for declarative sentences .. you put the verb in the middle,
0:27:36I saw John.
0:27:39In most of other Germanic languages, including German,
0:27:43in declarative sentences
0:27:45the verb is at the end.
0:27:47All these structural differences.
0:27:50So, when we want to use corpora of languages
0:27:55use cross-linguistically
0:27:57it's primarily the typological
0:28:00classification that's important.
0:28:02Not the genetic relation that's important.
0:28:08Well, let's ask the question,
0:28:11How did all this
0:28:12diversity arise?,
0:28:15Where did all this diversity come from?
0:28:21For instance
0:28:22here's a distribution by
0:28:25area. This is the geographical distribution.
0:28:30This was shown by an earlier speaker too.
0:28:35According to the Ethnologue which is
0:28:39missionary organisation where the team of thousands of linguists
0:28:44travelling far-flung places of the world.
0:28:48With one of their missions to translate The Bible
0:28:52and in this process
0:28:54they live there, they know the region well, they can report on the language and
0:28:58according to the
0:28:59Ethnologue there are seven thousand or so languages.
0:29:06We shouldn't take these numbers very seriously. They are very good
0:29:11rough guide.
0:29:13For instance
0:29:16when I went to Hong Kong, I couldn't understand the
0:29:20word of the Chinese that they spoke there .. Cantonese.
0:29:24Cantonese and Mandarin are supposed to be Chinese.
0:29:28One language.
0:29:31If this is so, then the
0:29:33dozens of dialects in China only count once, even though they're mutually unintelligible.
0:29:40On the other hand one year I was teaching in Stockholm.
0:29:44Bought myself a little Volvo,
0:29:46drove across from Stockholm to Oslo.
0:29:49Swedish .. Norwegian.
0:29:50No problem at all communicating.
0:29:54Yet there we have two languages, okay.
0:29:56So these numbers
0:29:58just can't be taken too seriously,
0:30:00but it's good to have kind of as a
0:30:09Was it
0:30:11also this complicated at the beginning when we first heard language?
0:30:16What does this diversity come from?
0:30:20Well, linguists have two ways of talking about the origin.
0:30:29all of the languages in the world
0:30:32came from a single source
0:30:35or at the beginning
0:30:38there were various tribes in different regions
0:30:41of the world maybe,
0:30:43of Africa maybe,
0:30:45and each of them came upon the idea of inventing language.
0:30:51And some years back
0:30:54I collaborated with the
0:30:55mathematician, friend of mine at Berkeley, David Freedman.
0:30:59And we did some statistical modeling
0:31:04our thought
0:31:06that is
0:31:07much more likely,
0:31:09given you have
0:31:11a large number of sites,
0:31:13so much more likely
0:31:15the language arose
0:31:19This means, if this is right,
0:31:22that some diversity was there
0:31:24right at the beginning.
0:31:27And this is not completely unreasonable because
0:31:32you think about the invention of fire
0:31:35that's had terrific consequences.
0:31:38That was polygenetically invented.
0:31:41Many people invented them independently.
0:31:45You think about pottery.
0:31:47Partly another major
0:31:49prehistoric invention.
0:31:52More polygenesis.
0:31:54You think about written language.
0:31:57Many cultures independently invented written language.
0:32:01So, spoken language, you know, not in the nuanced
0:32:04powerful sense of spoken language now.
0:32:08Spoken language
0:32:10hundred thousand years ago
0:32:12could have been invented polygenetically.
0:32:18One person who took the monogenetic
0:32:22was Quentin Atkinson
0:32:25who published this paper in Science few years back.
0:32:31use the
0:32:33world atlas of language structures which is maintained in Leipzig in Germany.
0:32:40And looked at five hundred and four languages
0:32:43in terms of their phoneme inventories.
0:32:47How many consonants, how many vowels and so on.
0:32:53And you can tell from the title of his paper
0:32:56Phonemic Diversity Supports
0:32:59a Serial Founder Effect Model
0:33:02of Language Expansion.
0:33:05In another words
0:33:06he's trying to
0:33:08construct the picture
0:33:11kind of like this that we saw earlier for genes.
0:33:15A serial founding effect.
0:33:17He wants to do it
0:33:20for languages and he does it
0:33:23with this diagram
0:33:24that you see on the
0:33:27left side of the slide
0:33:30from where you seti.
0:33:35Without going into great detail of Atkinson's methodology,
0:33:40I should mention that
0:33:43his proposal was met with several very severe
0:33:49from three groups of scholars.
0:33:52Some in Europe, some in America and so on.
0:33:57And they are listed on the slide.
0:34:01For instance
0:34:05Dediu and Moran,
0:34:07in the later issue of Science,
0:34:13both their databases
0:34:15and their method
0:34:17and came up with a very different picture
0:34:20based on phoneme inventories.
0:34:25hypothesis would put
0:34:28origin of language here, but actually there are many other sites.
0:34:37In order to give us a clearer idea of how sound patterns actually move
0:34:43I will now move to
0:34:44three case studies.
0:34:50Atkinson took the seven thousand languages of
0:34:54global perspective, all the languages of the world.
0:34:58I think perhaps we're not quite ready
0:35:00to be that global.
0:35:03It might be safer to stick with one family on which there is a very
0:35:10detailed meticulous scholarship
0:35:11that has been going on
0:35:15eighteen century, latter part of the eighteenth century.
0:35:19So, in Science 2004
0:35:22we have a
0:35:24picture of the Indo-European languages.
0:35:28I'm not sure
0:35:29whether you can catch everything
0:35:32but there is not an English.
0:35:37Traces to
0:35:39Middle English of Chaucer,
0:35:41Old English of King Alfred
0:35:44and all the way up to Indo-European.
0:35:49Indo-European also includes
0:35:53Which is an language that's become extinct.
0:35:57You find remnants of it in western in China, in Xinjiang.
0:36:03And you have
0:36:06Indo-Iranian branch. Within the Indo-Iranian branch
0:36:10you see Kurdish,
0:36:13which is very much in the news these days. They're the ones fighting in Iraq.
0:36:18So, Kurdish is actually an Iranian language belonging to the Proto-Indo-Iranian family.
0:36:26This gives you an idea of the membership
0:36:29doesn't tell us very much about the time scale.
0:36:34In Nature in 2003
0:36:37Russell Grey
0:36:39and Atkinson
0:36:41did an extensive
0:36:44statistical analysis based on vocabulary.
0:36:49They took almost two thousand five hundred words
0:36:52from eighty seven languages,
0:36:55all of from Indo-European and constructed this tree.
0:37:01Along this tree
0:37:03you see estimated time of death.
0:37:06So, according to these people published in Nature in
0:37:15is about nine thousand years old.
0:37:21As it gradually split
0:37:25more language families
0:37:28based on innovations,
0:37:32A few thousand years ago
0:37:36led to Germanic languages.
0:37:39Eventually to English.
0:37:44Those are
0:37:48the slide is kind of hard to see,
0:37:50so I will take this section here
0:37:54and blow it up
0:37:55and we have this.
0:37:59So, here we have English,
0:38:01here we have German,
0:38:04and we have the Romance languages,
0:38:08Italian, Spanish,
0:38:11and a separation here seems to be about
0:38:14five thousand years ago.
0:38:21What I'd like to
0:38:23discuss now
0:38:25is what other innovations
0:38:29that led to just
0:38:31this one little group.
0:38:35How did
0:38:39become Germanic
0:38:41in a part of the world?
0:38:46And this is how linguists operate, okay.
0:38:49Here's some data.
0:38:52Colin Renfrew is very esteemed archaeologist at Cambridge University
0:38:59and he gave as a bunch of words.
0:39:01The integers one to ten
0:39:04in a bunch of languages.
0:39:11English one, two, three, four, up to ten.
0:39:16hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu.
0:39:19Doesn't look anything like the rest of them.
0:39:23So, Japanese
0:39:25it's not an Indo-European language.
0:39:28But the rest.
0:39:35corresponds to Gothic.
0:39:37Gothic is an extinct language but we know it because there's lot of textual material
0:39:44Gothic has twai.
0:39:46Two ..
0:39:49Why isn't the w pronounced in two
0:39:53but is still written?
0:39:56In Latin is duo.
0:40:00In Greek
0:40:01is duo,
0:40:03in Sanskrit
0:40:05it's dva.
0:40:07In Russian is also dva.
0:40:12Obviously there's similarity in there.
0:40:15But is there something systematic that we can extract?
0:40:20Yes, the systematic aspect is that
0:40:25English and Gothic
0:40:32to other Indo-European languages'
0:40:40Let's take the next one.
0:40:44th is just a abbreviation
0:40:47referring to the sound that Anne Cutler was talking about interdental fricative θ.
0:40:53Three that's a interdental fricative.
0:40:56So, here's a fricative, here's a fricative in Germanic
0:41:00and these fricatives correspond to T here, T here,
0:41:05T here,
0:41:09as a pattern.
0:41:11Without going through many more
0:41:16this is the correspondence that we can extract
0:41:24here's the great man
0:41:25who formulated the law
0:41:28Jacob Grimm.
0:41:30Older brother of Wilhelm Grimm.
0:41:33The brothers of the Grimm's Fairy Tales, okay. Jacob was also a great linguist.
0:41:38In 1822
0:41:40he published what's called the Grimm's Law.
0:41:43He said
0:41:48in Indo-European
0:41:51pronounced with a
0:41:53D(h), G(h) type of sound,
0:41:57became in Germanic
0:42:00D and G.
0:42:04Sounds which were B, D, G in Indo-European
0:42:09became P, T, K
0:42:13in Germanic.
0:42:15And sounds which where P, T, K in Germanic,
0:42:20in Indo-European, sorry. Became F, θ, H
0:42:25in Germanic.
0:42:27Very regular.
0:42:30We are able to look at some of these in comparison because
0:42:36after the Norman conquest, about a thousand years ago,
0:42:40English powered a lot of romance words.
0:42:44French words, Latin words.
0:42:46So we actually have
0:42:48Latin and Romance words sitting side by side with the native Germanic words.
0:42:53So take a word like
0:42:55the pedal
0:42:57on a bicycle.
0:42:59It's foot.
0:43:01So the P corresponds to the F.
0:43:04P corresponds to the F.
0:43:09The pad, the D
0:43:11corresponds to the T.
0:43:13D corresponds to the T.
0:43:20So, the point that I wanna make with this slide,
0:43:24I better move faster,
0:43:26is that
0:43:27it's a whole natural class that's displaced.
0:43:31It's displaced not only as total patterns
0:43:35but it's usually displaced
0:43:38by single features.
0:43:40As you go from here to here
0:43:43you're going from
0:43:44voice task ??
0:43:46to voice ??.
0:43:49As you go from here to here
0:43:50you're going from voiced to unvoiced.
0:43:53As you go from here to here you're going from stop to fricative and so
0:44:00beautifully symmetric.
0:44:03So, let's get closer to home.
0:44:07Here's the sound change that took place.
0:44:11It sided shortly after Chaucer's death
0:44:16and it kept on going after Shakespeare.
0:44:19It's called the Great Vowel Shift.
0:44:22It's been studied in ??Greatstepft by Danish linguistic called
0:44:26Otto Jespersen.
0:44:28And some years back I also
0:44:30followed up that study.
0:44:36Why is it that we say
0:44:41but sane.
0:44:44Why is it that in French
0:44:47China's called Chine?
0:44:50Chine versus China.
0:44:55versus Christ.
0:44:58Why are there all these alternations?
0:45:02It's because of the Great Vowel Shift.
0:45:06And to hear one example.
0:45:11The original vowel quality was actually a.
0:45:16It used to be sanity.
0:45:20But if you take away the suffix,
0:45:23which protects this vowel,
0:45:25the vowel itself raises.
0:45:27So, it became sane.
0:45:29So, we still say sanity
0:45:31but we no longer say, he's insane.
0:45:35We have to say insane.
0:45:38As wind shift
0:45:42we can say serenity
0:45:44but we cannot say, this man is very serene.
0:45:48We have to say serene
0:45:50A has become E, E has become I. I can't go any higher.
0:45:56Christmas, the I,
0:45:59has become Christ.
0:46:03in French has become China in English, because of this vowel shift.
0:46:09Again it's a systematic shift in patterns.
0:46:15Okay, let's
0:46:16spend a few minutes on
0:46:19perhaps less familiar territory.
0:46:22You build words not only with consonants and vowels
0:46:26but also with tones.
0:46:29People think of tones they think of Chinese
0:46:32but there are thousands of tone languages in the world.
0:46:35Here's a tone language called Trique,
0:46:37in Mexico.
0:46:39And in Trique
0:46:41there are five levels of tones.
0:46:45So, we have,
0:46:46this is,
0:46:49gu du we ku.
0:46:51Gu du we jo.
0:46:53And so on.
0:46:57Each with a very different meaning.
0:47:00So, ku is bones.
0:47:03Jo, ka, ?a, za.
0:47:07Five different level tones.
0:47:09With five different words.
0:47:19But is it the case that
0:47:21once you have a tone language always a tone language? No.
0:47:26The paradigm tone language Chinese. People thought, Well, Chinese is a tone language.
0:47:31Was it always a tone language? No.
0:47:35Chinese became a tone language probably about
0:47:38two thousand
0:47:40twenty five hundred years ago.
0:47:42And this is the result of
0:47:44the loss of consonant clusters.
0:47:48In Enghlish you have a lot of consonant clusters like
0:47:51speech, play, spring, these all begin with consonant clusters.
0:47:57But if you look at the Chinese dialects now, any dialect you want look at,
0:48:01no consonant clusters.
0:48:04So, how do we know that there was consonant clusters?
0:48:08Chinese is not written alphabetically. How can you tell what it sounded like?
0:48:13Well, it's true Chinese is not written alphabetically but a large part is written
0:48:22It's not in terms of consonants and vowels. It's in terms of syllables.
0:48:27So, for instance
0:48:33I call these things sinograms
0:48:35for Chinese characters. Here's a sinogram
0:48:39that serves
0:48:41as the phonetic
0:48:42of this more complex sinogram.
0:48:46Here's a sinogram
0:48:48that serves as a phonetic.
0:48:51Sinogram that serves as a phonetic and so on.
0:48:56But then you ask me,
0:48:58How is that phonetic?
0:49:01They're different.
0:49:03These are
0:49:05spelled with a letter G but actually there's K sounds there.
0:49:09Unvoiced un-aspirated velar stops,
0:49:13These are all L.
0:49:18Well, that's one of the
0:49:21that they were consonant clusters.
0:49:24If you take these words,
0:49:26compare them with Tibetan.
0:49:28Many languages in Southeast Asia
0:49:31they also have constant clusters.
0:49:34So, because these consonant clusters were lost,
0:49:38tones arose.
0:49:39Otherwise you'd just have too much ??.
0:49:45And they arose in different ways.
0:49:49So, here's Beijing,
0:49:51Xiang, Xi'an, ??Hankou\Hong Kong.
0:49:54and so on.
0:49:57Each one
0:49:58with the different number of tones.
0:50:01In Mandarin they're four.
0:50:03In Cantonese there are none.
0:50:09So, this illustrates the four tones of
0:50:14This illustrates the nine tones of Hong Kong Cantonese.
0:50:19Notice in Mandarin
0:50:21because of the merger
0:50:29have all become homophones.
0:50:31Exactly the same pronunciation.
0:50:34But in Cantonese
0:50:36one is mid-level
0:50:43three different tones
0:50:45they kept.
0:50:48And if you
0:50:49did F0 analysis to extract the pitch.
0:50:54This is actually.
0:50:55my own voice
0:50:58extracted from a PDP computer. Many of you may not even remember what PDP computers
0:51:05Back in 1973.
0:51:09So, it is my voice saying
0:51:15And here are the nine tones
0:51:17from Cantonese.
0:51:23You could plot these
0:51:26on a
0:51:27two-dimensional graph
0:51:29using slope
0:51:31and normalized height.
0:51:34And you can see that the four tones in Mandarin
0:51:39are quite evenly distributed.
0:51:43On the other hand in Cantonese
0:51:47it's kind of a mess.
0:51:50There's a lot of overlapping
0:51:53and this happens a lot whenever
0:51:55a metropolitan centre
0:51:57suddenly takes in a lot of influx of people
0:52:00speak different dialects, different languages. The language will change faster.
0:52:05So, as a result
0:52:07in Cantonese tone two
0:52:09and tone five
0:52:11are merging.
0:52:13Many of the words
0:52:15are no longer distinct.
0:52:17Tone three and tone six
0:52:19are merging.
0:52:20Many of them are no longer distinct.
0:52:30I see I've ran out of time, Haizhou.
0:52:39The last point on this tone part,
0:52:43I'll just mentioned very quickly,
0:52:45is that we saw a little bit earlier the vowel shift changed the vowels chasing
0:52:50each other around, okay.
0:52:52Low become middle, middle becomes high, high becomes
0:52:58Well, you can't say things in tones.
0:53:02In Taiwanese
0:53:04okay, here's
0:53:05database on the Ministry of Education in Taiwan,
0:53:09if you take each tones
0:53:11and notice how they change.
0:53:14They actually change in circle.
0:53:19And detailed study of this
0:53:22is available
0:53:25in the literature.
0:53:30The last point that
0:53:32I wanted to discuss, but I can discuss with you individually,
0:53:37is that many people think that language actually arose
0:53:41from music.
0:53:44The proto-language of the humankind
0:53:47was actually singing.
0:53:50Darwin himself
0:53:52made many remarks to this
0:53:57So, in English, archaeologist Steven Mithen,
0:54:01wrote the Singing Neanderthals
0:54:03Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body.
0:54:08And the linguist Fitch at University of Vienna
0:54:12in his book Evolution of Language,
0:54:15chapter fourteen
0:54:16is all about
0:54:26And here's a slide prepared by a graduate student at The Chinese University
0:54:34grammatical operators,
0:54:36like drawing this type of trees,
0:54:38applies very well
0:54:40to music.
0:54:41So, here's one of Bach's Menuets that
0:54:49syntactic structures very much like
0:54:52real sentences.
0:54:55And this last slide shows that
0:55:00if you look at it just from the point of view region of interest with
0:55:06they're actually
0:55:07distinct regions from music and language.
0:55:11All this is very interesting, not too surprising
0:55:15but we really need to go further
0:55:17and look at the fiber tracks
0:55:19not just the regions.
0:55:21But how these regions are connected.
0:55:25Okay, I have two more slides.
0:55:29So, the roots of language then,
0:55:31as a summary,
0:55:33reach back over three million years,
0:55:37when our remote ancestors transitioned
0:55:40to bipedal posture,
0:55:43restructuring the hands,
0:55:45the vocal tract,
0:55:47and the brain.
0:55:51with its building blocks of syllables,
0:55:57is a powerful vehicle for language,
0:56:00emerged over a hundred thousand years ago.
0:56:04Language and music are both universal to our species
0:56:09and share evolutionary roots.
0:56:12They have similar functions of communication,
0:56:16similar principles of organisation.
0:56:21Diversity in language is the cumulative product
0:56:25of culturally selected innovations
0:56:28made by numerous generations of speakers.
0:56:33Spoken language has spawned
0:56:35various auxiliary forms,
0:56:37such as written language,
0:56:40signed language, there is electronic media providing
0:56:44additional windows for studying how we communicate.
0:56:49And ever more powerful
0:56:51technology of brain imaging and
0:56:53computer analysis for spoken language and music
0:56:57is already shedding much light
0:56:59on our mind
0:57:01and promises
0:57:03to reveal
0:57:04much more.
0:57:06Thank you.
0:57:23As much as we are a bit overtime I still welcome very short comments
0:57:27after a mind-boggling talk that perhaps
0:57:32bring back
0:57:34speech and language
0:57:36all the way to the roots.
0:57:43If not
0:57:45on behalf of Interspeech
0:57:48we have a token of appreciation
0:57:52that we would like to ask
0:57:54the conference chair Haizhou Li to present to professor
0:57:59William Wong.