Re: [tied] Glen, regarding...

From: ehlsmith
Message: 26291
Date: 2003-10-09

--- In, "Patrick C. Ryan" <proto-
language@...> wrote:
> My own view is, as a hypothesis, to seek to explain phonological
changes are a result of changing gene frequencies in the population
speaking the language.


> <PCR> In my opinion, "social change" can best be understood as
reflecting changes in genetic composition. I have no doubt that when,
in certain US states, a certain critical mass of Latinos is achieved,
power will shift to this group, and changes in the English phonology
there will ensue, although national communications media will slow
and somewhat inhibit them.

Your scenario may quite possibly be true- but do you actually believe
that genetics would have anything to do with it?! I find it hard to
come up with a more classic example to demonstrate a correlation
without causation. Certainly there are differences between the two
populations in terms of both genetics and pronunciation, but newborn
infants from one population brought up by adoptive parents of the
other population will speak like their adoptive parents, not their
genetic parents. You might as well propose that phonological changes
are caused by diet or religion, or what sports one follows.

Ned Smith