Learning foreign languages can be both fun and educational. Learners consider some of the languages to be easier to take up than others. However, researchers prove them that different languages can work very much the same. A recent discovery in the field of linguistics shows that there are much more similarities between different languages than we might have expected.
According to the new linguistic study, phonetics plays a significant role in universal language and communication skills. The study reveals the fact that regardless of the language they speak, people tend to use similar sounds to depict universal realities.
The researchers analyzed the lexical field of family, body parts, colors, nature elements, as well as pronouns and verbs describing mostly motion. The words making up these fields stand as the basis of the lexicon in any language. This means that all speakers know and use these words regularly. What the researchers observed is that different languages use a similar sound pattern when it comes to these words.
The linguists noticed that some sounds are more likely to appear in certain words rather than others. For instance, most languages in the world use the sound “l” when uttering the word for “tongue.” This happens with French (langue), Romanian (limbă), and many others.
Another example provided by the researchers is that of personal pronoun “I.” It seems like there are small chances of the word being expressed using sounds such as “u”, “p”, “b”, “t”, “s”, “r”, and “l.”
The impressive study was carried out by a strong international team of linguists, physicists, and scientists. They come from countries such as Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. They limited their study to about one hundred basic words, which were analyzed in more than six thousand different languages which are actually being spoken in the world at the moment.
Professor H. Christiansen is one of the members of the research team. He says that there is a sound pattern used by speakers all around the world. Although their study was concerned with merely one hundred words, the similarities they found are significant. In light of this finding, researchers are convinced that there are much more similarities between the different languages spoken in the world than those they have found so far.
Since the subject is not fully explored, we may expect further studies from scientists. This type of research can actually lead to a much easier process of learning foreign languages.
The new study on the importance of phonetics was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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