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Ember Source: American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 101, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), pp. 730-742 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the American Anthropological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/684050 . Accessed: 01/08/2011 07:23
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ver sincethe daysof Edward SapirandBenjamin Lee Whorf.The languageof the SamoanIslands. nearlyevery syllablestartswith a consonantandends with a vowel. (1996).Inc.Whateverthe outcomesof cal. theory evidence and of The and offered here highpercentages of baby-holding-is thatanother morepredictive CV scoresthaneither of climate literacy.anthropologists have investigatedand debated various relaRecenttimeshave tionshipsbetweenlanguageandculture. in 1996).As scoredby syllables Munroeet al. guage arecomposedof consonant-vowel Despite the fact that the consonant-vowelsyllable is "the most common type of syllable in the world's languages" (Macaulay 1994:220. AmericanAnthropologicalAssociation . Cecil Brown and StanleyWitkowski(1980.Multipleregression in cross-language is of analysisrevealsthatbaby-holding a stronger predictor CV scoresthanclimateor literacy.) In this paper. as cross-historiand cross-cultural studies. seen severalnoteworthy publications. (1996) is thatwarmer et climatesare associatedwith higherCV scores.and how predictors could be tested-experimentally (in the field and in they the laboratory) well as by ethnohistorical. syllables. Copyright0 2000. of course.the word for Christmas "muss.wherethe firstauthor fieldwork. who can ignore Brent BerlinandPaulKay's (1969) famousobservation size that is with soof basic color vocabulary positively correlated cial complexity?(See also Ember1978. of theworld to the of A (CV) varyconsiderably guages cross-cultural (Munroe al. amongthemthe fola belowing.the findingsdiscussedhereshow thatthe degree to which the syllables of a word are CV in form is measurableand predictableacross the languages of the world. This association.and probablyeven before. morphology." (Kerisimasi) has five syllables. predictor variation CV scores. CharlesHockett(1985) reported correlation and tween mode of subsistence the occurrence the sound of "f" in a sample of languages around the world. the word Christmas two syllables in has ing. 1996)foundthatCV score(thepercentage CV syllables the average et of in study previous from can 20%to more than80%.baby-holding] cross-language.We also find thatmean numberof syllablesper wordis a predictor well.we discussotherpossible concluding that might be tested in futurestudies.in otherlanguages. EMBER Human Relations AreaFiles. In the as sectionof this paper. languagesvaryconsiderably the degreeto which areconsonant-vowel (CV) in form. That described and word) varyacross languages less than study theory evidence linking of CV syllables warmer to climates theabsence literacy. The firstsyllableis CCVCin form."'Munroeet al. was derivedfrom the Munroeet al. some languageshavea relatively low of CV syllablesin the averageword (less than percentage 20%).all CV in form." secondsyllableis CVCin form.such as Samoan. theoryaboutcommunicative efficiency. or factor-degree suggests Meannumber syllables wordis alsoa predictor CVscores.In some languages.which was testedon a sampleof 53 societies.pronounced as speech. of of Other that per possible predictors couldbe tested experimentallyandotherwisearediscussed. (1996) present theory and evidence linking high percentagesof CV syllables to warmerclimatesandthe absenceof literacy.pronounced as In Samoan. Brown 1984) published numerous studiesover the yearsshowing strongassociationsbetweenlinguisticphenomena-mostly involving the lexicon as opposedto phonologyor grammar-and culturalvariables.MELVIN EMBER CAROL R.we discuss resultsfromcross-cultural studiesthatmay stimulate a new directionin language-culture research-on the of the degree to which the words in a landeterminants (CV) syllables. Previous Theory and Results The majorfindingin Munroe al.[cross-cultural.at YaleUniversity New Haven. Referred hereafter the"Munroe to as theory.pronounced "Keh-reeas see-mah-see. as cited in Munroeet al.more than 80% of the syllables in the averagewordhavethe CV form.And." this theorysuggeststhatthe conditionsor requirements of AmericanAnthropologist101(4):730-742.CT06511 Predictorsof Consonant-Vowel Cross-Language Syllables Inthispaper discuss that we ontolanguage-culture The cross-language findings openupa newwindow relationships. The "Kris.Herewe present theory and evidence for a third factor---degreeof This thirdfactoris the strongest of baby-holding. futurestudies. lanin thedegree which syllables a wordareconsonant-vowel in form. The Samoanpreference CV syllablesis strikfor In English.is an did example of the latter.
accordingto Munroeet al.butMunroeet al.2 In short.the less oftenconsonants are strungtogetherwithout vowels in between.18of 40.theMunroe theory assumes that a high percentageof consonantvowel syllablesin the averageword shouldbe particularly .the warmer climates nearlyas are half. rather than a language imposed from the outside. factthatwarmer on The climates with in varygreatly CV scoresis not consistent The Influence of Baby-Holding What else might predict higher CV scores? We think the theory offered in Barbara C.e. Warmerclimates should almost always have higher CV scores. Thatis. (1996) as follows.while languagesin colderclimates average42%. Ayres's (1973) study of rhythm in music suggests an answer. withfewer than5 cold months)have an averageCV scoreof 59%.(Thecodingprocedure brieflydescribed the in next section. The moststriking the thingabout climateresultin the is thatno language a cold climate(i. (1996:68)ignorethembecausethey occur only about 10%of the time in the Munroesample. at particularly a distance. as defined. literacy means that writing and reading systems are based on the local language. not confirmed. The extent and natureof such stimulationvaries from one society to another depending upon the frequencyandmannerin which infantsareheld and . (1982) found it to be a general constraint on the migration of preindustrialpeoples throughout the world. They used CV scores calculatedby a linguistics student. A culturewith a writtenlanguageis likely to have many kinds of full-timespecialistsand a highly technical economy.who at the time was unawareof the hypotheses in is be tested. Cold climates were those in which mean wintertemperatures stayedbelow 10 degreescentigrade degreesFahrenheit) (50 during at least 5 monthsof the year (roughlyNovemberthrough March in the NorthernHemisphere).The climatepredictor definedandmeasured by Munroeet al. While no cold climates cultures (57%). The cut-off point of 5 or more cold months. (1996) also found another predictor of high CV scores-namely.the Munroetheoryis thatwarmer climatesshould favor speechwith a high CV score. the absence of literacy.The Munroetheoryaboutthe effect of generalor widespread literacyis thatwrittencommunication reduces the need for a high CV score in the language. It shouldbe notedthat the communicative efficiencyof a high CV languageis assumed.The cross-cultural datain the Munroedata set are consistentwith this expectation. havehighCV scores. She describes her theory as follows (Ayres 1973:389-390): The hypothesisinvestigatedin this study predictsthatcrossculturalvariationin the frequencyand importance regular of rhythmin music will be relatedto variationin early somatosensory stimulation derived from body contact with the mother or other caretakers. Whiting et al. Also.not spoken. This differenceis statistically signifiwas cantby t-test. it is not clear why frecontrast. In their conception. and lower scores and more varicolderclimates. and literacy is general in and CV score is not symmetrical.The theoryassumes that consonant-vowelsyllables produce maximum phonetic contrastand therefore should be favoredwhere speakersoften try to communicate with each otherat a distance. and hence many specializedor technicalwords (BrownandWitkowski1980).in conveying messages with these minimal syllabicunitsrather thanmorecomplexones. still to be established.All other climates were consideredwarmerand very likely to have people communicating out of doors at a distance for much of the year. quent phonetic in wouldnot alwaysbe advantageous.In otherwords.A high meanpercentage consonant-vowel of syllables is presumed to be optimal for both hearer and "Thehearer benefitsfromperceptual distinctness. The meanCV scorefor the literateculturesis significantly lower (41%) than the mean CV score for the nonliterate the Munroetheory of communicativeefficiency.Voweleconomy consonant(VC) syllablesmightalso providephoneticcontrast. therelationship the society rather than confined to a relatively small numberof specialists. the asymmetryin the resultsshould be oppositeto what they found.the more easily speech shouldbe understood. Stephen to Winters.EMBER AND EMBER / PREDICTORS OF CONSONANT-VOWEL SYLLABLES 731 differfrom one kind of climateto spokencommunication another.Languages a highCVscorearetropical subwith or But between climate tropical phenomena. likelyto havelow ashighCVscores: nearly in to climates have also of thelanguages moderate warm CV scores lowerthan 60%. may mark the point of other threshold effects as well.or thatthe climate resultmay be a spuriouscorrelateof some other predictor..)Munroeet al.data supportingthat assumption have not yet been presented.Thatclearlyis ability shouldcharacterize not the case.in the form of a high CV score.e. achieves of articulation" (Munroeet al.. Munroe et al. (1996) seem conby sistent with the idea thatclimatehas an effect. (1996) foundthatlanguages warmer climates(i.useful where the climateis moderateto warmand people thereforeconversea lot out of doors. 1996:62). If anything. a languagein a warmerclimate could have a lower mean CV score than expectedif the culturewas literateandmuchof communication was written. speaker: and the speaker. The asymmetrical distribution the associaof tionbetweenclimateandCV scoressuggestseitherthatthe variationin CV scores in warmerclimatesmay have anothercause (or causes).3 The resultspresented Munroeet al. Thissituation theimpetus was forourownresearch CV scores. in Munroe study with 5 or morecold months) a CV scoreas highas has 60%. all climates.Such wordsarelikely to be used mostlyin writtencommunication wouldnot genand erallyneed to have a high CV scoreto be optimallyunderstood.
we would expect thatfrequentbaby-holding should producea preferencefor all kinds of regular rhythm. searches with of other subjectcategoriesfor additionalnative words. is assumed oneof themotives listening orperformthat for to and the of pleasure that percentage ingmusicis to experience canbe usedas a culture's thatemployregular rhythm songs valueof suchrhythms a typical an indexof the reward for of The member thesociety.the ethnographer at least 1. the PSF sample. its ability reward to rhythm.plus 17 culturesthatwere recquired ommended as substitutesfor cases with missing data (Naroll 1967). and fieldwork. and so on. we used a usedby Munslightlylarger samplethanthe one originally roe et al.The primary sourceconsultedwas HRAFsubjectcategory192 ("Vocabulary"). of For the new results we are reportinghere.we reasoned that. No. Seven cases were subsequentlyaddedby the Munroesto bring the sample to 60. as in dictionaries. 4 * DECEMBER 1999 This assumes regular that in carried. Moreover. (1996).6 Occasionally. This expectationwas test by supported Ayres's cross-cultural results. Babies carried often may learnto like regularrhythmbecauseof the it rewards is associatedwith--easy accessto thebreastand milk.be positively rhythm ciety "prefer" regular with latedto themanner frequency whichinfants carand are mothers mother or riedby their surrogates. .4 PSF includesone randomly turefromeachof 60 macro-culture areas. model is appropriate even if some of the supposedindependent variablesare "dummy"or dichotomousordinal variables(Lewis-Beck 1980:66-67). Reinforcement theorysuggeststhatthe moresuch are with derived fromcontact. frequent baby-holding scores.also.among othercriteria).5 To be sure.the culturesin a macrocultureareacould be similarbecause of common history and/or diffusion. of Onceacquired durthis valuewouldtendto and ing infancy childhood. degree which to members a soof reshould. The percentage consonant-vowel of syllablesin the language (the CV score) was measuredby Munroe et al. reward in into for persist adultlife andfindexpression a preference beats It musiccharacterized regularly by recurring oraccents. that historical relatedness betweensamplecases. think that speech could have For rhythms. example. (1996) as follows. if the Ayres theory aboutrhythmin music is shouldalso predicthighCV correct.In any case. word on every nth page. degree of baby-holding. a . is. (1996) consistedof 53 cultures.Wheremorethan200 wordswere available. so we canuse multiplerescore. A list of up to 200 wordswas compiled for each samplesociety.The selectedculture had to meet certaindata-quality criteria(long-term knew the nativelanguage.hoeing. experiences carried.She found in musicwas predicted thata preference regular for rhythm by baby-holding. the stimulation of varyingsightsandsounds. Indeed.The sampling of procedure choosingjust one case per cultureareawas adoptedto minimizethe worry. becauseonly one case or was includedfromeach of the 60 macro-culture areas. So Ayreslinksfrequent to for baby-holding a preference regularrhythmin music. then. We hope thatthe new resultspresented below will encourresearchers explorethesepossibilities. A baby who is held on the body duringdaytimeis exposed to the regularrhythmof heart beats. greater be the feeding. sion model is quite robustand can accommodate ordinal variablestreatedas intervalvariables. but we should rememberthat cultural similarities maybe mostlydueto similarcausalconditions.). to age The New Study Ourstudywas designedto test for the possibleinfluence of baby-holding CV score. and we have includedthesein ourcurrent or sample(one culture. formulation rhythm muof or sic is modeled the sensation regular on up-and-down whichtheinfant whilebeing side-to-side motion. the warmthof the caretaker's body. rather thanresultsof anceslikely tryor diffusion. two of the possible are as that predictors treated dummyvariables.recent commonhistoryand diffusionare not likely to have betweenthe 60 cases in the PSF.may makesample correlationsmore significant statisticallythan they would otherwisebe. primary for each of the 60 cultureareasrepresented in substitute. In particular.The acquired reward valueof shouldpersistinto adulthood therefore and regularrhythm affect what adultspreferin music. any produced similarities andtherefore correlations in observable the sampleare any to be realor functional. temperature valueof regular thatis.732 * AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST VOL. walking. The sampleused in Munroeet al.200 published pages of ethnography. or diffusionof traitsbetweencases becauseof proximity. (1996) andthe one we aresugThe multipleregression gesting. cold versus warmerclimate and presenceversus absenceof literLabovitz(1970) has shownthatthe regresacy. mostof thecultureareas.36 of the 60 cases in the original HRAF Probability SamplesFiles (PSF) for which the redatawere available. breathing.in otherdomainsas well as in music and speech.is an interval and gressionanalysisto examinethe independence relative of power of all the suggestedpredictors CV score-those suggestedby Munroeet al. in largerdictionaries. We thinkthatAyres's theorycanbe generalized other to we domains.if a languagehas a high CV regular of score. the Munroeslatersubstituted Central Thaifor Garobecausethe wordlist availablefor Garowas The selectedculvery small).. Thus. and variable. sensations associated rewards the will and maintenance. it would have regularalternation consonantsand vowels in its syllables(CV-CV-CV-CV.therewas a dictionaryor glossaryavailable on the language.The dependent on CV variable. environmental other.originally raisedby FrancisGalton(see the end of Tylor 1888). acquired and evokefeelings relaxation pleasure.a randomly For selectedculture suggestedas a substitute case of missing is in data. 101.a representative sample of 200 words was selectedby systematicallysamplingevery nth word or.which is how we treattheindependent variable baby-holding.
withouta hardmaterial(e. Before gettingto the resultsof our multipleregression As analysis.hip. as of 1997).g. The indexing system for HRAF (the Outline of Cultural Materials [Murdocket al. A baby mightsit next to someone. And low baby-holding(scale score 1) means that the pre-walking baby spentlittleor no timeduringthe day on the back. We would guess thatthey are.) The Vietnamese. (1996) data set is 55%.and a child was very indulgent neverleft aloneduringits wakinghours. in degreeof baby-holding. is the only society that appearsvery far off the best fit regression line. To measureour new variable. For example.Or it would lie in a cradle.0005.that is. On the otherend of the scale of CV scores.Not only did she sleep with thebabyin the samehammock(close sleepoccur also in low baby-holdingsocieing arrangements ties).)The CV score for each society was derivedby dividing the numberof CV of syllablesin each samplewordby the totalnumber syllables in that word.but not on someone.10 case is coded as havinga cradleboard) of baby-holding(scale score 4) if high-moderate degree the babywas carriedor heldmostof the day withouta hard materialbetween. and song or chant words. proper nouns. higherthe the hypothesized.literacy.into account.considering how the Samoans changed Christmasto Kerisimasi. or front of a caretaker.8The mean CV score for the slightlylargersampleusedhereis 54. they had two of the hyof pothesized predictors a low CV score.if ever.g.numberof cold months. (Futureresearchmight profitablylook at whether CV scoresfor such wordsarepredictable the same ways in thatCV scores for ordinary wordsseem to be predictable.9 Note thatwe could not ratebaby-holding 10 of the 60 for samplesocieties.so oureffectivesamplesize for the analyses thatincludebaby-holding 50. (The Vietnameseareone of the 7 literatesocieties in Figure 1.N line = 50.17%. (1996).which predictsmuch betterfor cold than warm climates. .andthe bestfit linearregression (r = . slightly more thanhalf of the syllables in the averageword in the averagelanguage have the consonant-vowelform. Table 1 shows the CV scores.403.Figure1 shows the scatterplot the significant of associationbetween degree of baby-holding and positive CV score.But therewas little or no body contact with a caretaker (Piker 1964).(The cases are moreor less evenly distributed aroundthe line at each level of baby-holding.In contrastto climate. The Yanoamaalso lived in a warmclimate(no cold months)and lacked literacy. in the early 1900s. low CV score (23%) despite living in a climate with no cold months. a A betweenthem. The Yanoamamothercarriedthe baby on her hip if she was gathering food in the forestor doingworkin or around the house. 1987]) makesit easy to searchfor particular kinds of information of the day babies are held) acrossthousands (e.frequencyof baby-holddata found in the HRAF ing. and then addingthese individualquotientstogetheranddividingthe sum by the totalnumberof wordsin the sampleof wordsfor thatlanguage.andtheirCV score of 76 is in fact a high one in our worldwidesample. . hip. Accordingly.But the babywas hardly ever held.a mothermightrushfrom somewhereelse to comforta fussingbabywiththe breast. as dichotomizedby Munroe et al. a cradleboard) betweenthem. Moderatebaby-holding (scale score 3) meansthatthe pre-walking was carried or held for baby by about half of the day without a hard materialbetween.babyto holdingappears predictwell acrossthe entirespectrum of societies. is in Degreeof baby-holding measured termsof 5 easily A high degreeof baby-holding scale points.The infantor young child was hardlyever out of body contactwith the mother(Becher 1918). CV scores. portion of ethnographic pages and hundredsof culturespast text andpresent. thereis also a significantassociationbetween climate (warm versus cold.7 mean The CV score for the sample societies in the Munroe et al.So. ) and CV score (r = .9 distinguished (scale score 5) meansthatthe pre-walking baby (as of the time describedin the ethnography) carriedor held alwas mostall if not all of the day on the back. they had all three hypothesizedpredictorsof a high CV score. if the baby or.. in the early 1960s.502. but we did not code those aspectsof baby tending. the higherthe baby-holding.let us first examine the bivariatepredictors. p < colderclimateshave lower CV scores. hardmaterial(e. columns1-4.g.the Central Thai (as of the early 1960s) were when it came to nursing. or frontof the motheror othercaretaker. one-tailed).in feeding or any otherrespect. the baby was always on the motherduringthe day.with a CV scoreof 18 anda moderate baby-holding score (3). So. we used the ethnographic Collectionof Ethnography (microficheandelectronicversions.Theremighteven be anticipatory into avoidbeingannoyedby a noisy or demanding dulgence: infant. is Our coding of degree of baby-holding not take indid dulgence.the CentralThai (as of the early And they had a 1960s) are coded as low in baby-holding.. therealmost always was a spent any time on a caretaker.. andinfantsmay not cry much.329.But they were literateas well as low in babyholding.) As hypothesized Munby roe et al. Low-moderate (scale score 2) meansthatthe baby-holding or babywas carried heldsome (butclearlynot pre-walking as much as half) of the day withouta hard materialbetween.EMBER AND EMBER / PREDICTORS OF CONSONANT-VOWEL SYLLABLES 733 Some terms were excluded by the Munroesbecause they were considered inappropriate the hypothesis tests: for probableloan words. p < . N= 60.A mothermay nurse on demand(or even before the infant seems to wantto be fed).0005.and ournew variable. one-tailed): And thereis a significantnegativeassociationbetweenlitand eracy(literateversusnonliterate) CV score (r = -.theYanoama of Amazonia(as of earlyin the 1900s) were high in babyholding.
389 0.407 0.89 2. Syl (8) 2.78 2.37 3.35 2.79 2.222 0.56 2.4 2.7 2.6 2.12 2.42 3.65 5.9 2.231 0.38 2.26 2.7 2.1 1.283 30 23 0.22 2.7 3.29 1.71 1.2 3.348 26 42 0.13 2.7 4.06 2.321 5 1 1 1 1 5 1 5 5 1 27 36 0.2 2.52 1.108 0.89 2.73 3.734 * AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST VOL.462 0.16 3.1 Mean No.3 2.06 2.25 1.42 4.4 2.45 2.333 0.54 2. Data for the Sample Societiesa Culture CV Score (1) Andamans Aranda Ashanti Aymara Bemba Blackfoot Burma Cagaba Caingang Caraja CentralThai Chukchee CopperEskimo Cuna Dogon Fang Fox Ganda Greeks Hausa HighlandScots Iban Ifugao Iroquois Kapauku Khasi Klamath Korea Kpelle Lapps Lau Fiji Lebanon(Arab) Lozi Masai Mescalero Mundurucu Ojibwa Ona Pashtun Pemon Rwala San Santal Serbs Shluh Sinhalese Somali Tarahumara Teda Tiv Tlingit Toba Tonga 65 63 63 80 67 39 25 60 57 65 23 33 41 70 78 35 57 67 58 80 16 48 55 43 75 27 38 45 65 53 72 52 80 56 67 43 43 40 48 65 42 52 68 56 38 75 49 85 65 39 33 59 80 Cold Mos (2) 0 0 0 3 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 12 12 0 0 0 7 0 3 0 9 0 0 6 0 0 5 5 0 10 0 3 0 0 4 0 8 12 3 0 3 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 Literacy (3) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Babyhold (4) 4 3 5 5 5 1 2 1 4 5 1 1 2 2 5 1 4 1 4 5 4 1 5 1 5 5 1 3 Doubtful (5) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 Phonemes (6) 24 30 V/C Ratio (7) 0.81 2.83 3.192 0.22 2. 101.7 1.59 2.406 0.231 48 0. 4 * DECEMBER 1999 Table 1.21 2.104 .167 141 0. No.3 0.17 3 5 4 1 1 36 39 0.9 1.125 0.46 46 0.33 2.75 3.238 27 37 39 32 26 64 28 0.9 3.38 2.61 2.65 3.14 2.05 1.
We should briefly mentionthat threepossible alternative explanations CV scorescan be rejected. Omittingthe cases rated with some doubt on climate and communication) omitting (RobertL. 1 (low) if the pre-walkingbaby spentlittle or no time on the back.179 0.97 1. Mean numberof syllables (column 8) is the average numberof syllables per word in the sampled word corpus. The r forbaby-holding CV score (N = 35) improvesfrom .12The datafor number phonemesandratioof vowels to consoof in is provided columns6 and7 of Table1.26 2. (high/moderate)if the baby is held as above for most of the day. association between CV score and vowel-consonantratio is also not significantlydifferentfrom zero (r = . 2 (low/moderate)if the baby was held some of the day.49 28 34 41 0.3 if there were doubtfulratingson both climate and baby-holding. Relationshipbetween Baby-Holdingand CV Score.353 0. partof column 5. personal the cases that we ratedwith some doubton baby-holding strengthensthe obtained correlations(see the doubtful and scoresin column5 of Table 1).005.526. Babyholding(column 4) is 5 (high) if the pre-walkingbaby is carriedor held almost all if not all of the day on the back. Doubtfulratings(column 5) are 0 if therewere no doubtfulratingson the case. and column 8 are from Munroeet al.One of the reviewerssuggestedthatthe between literacyand lower CV scores might relationship . nants that Thereis one otheralternative explanation may need to be considered.and literacy appearedto be generalin the society. 1996). (1996) and from RobertL. which generally weakens results (Emberet al. V/C ratio(column 7) is the ratio of vowels to consonants(from Maddieson 1984). and the r for climate and CV score (N = 53) improvesfrom .403 to are .Phonemes(column 6) are the numberof phonemesretrievedfrom Maddieson(1984). Munroeenableus to rejecttwo otherexof planations the variancein CV scores. These improvements consistentwith the ideathat moreamcases coded with some doubtarecases described 90 80 70 o o 60 50 o o O o.Cold months (column 2) is the numberof months for is which the mean temperature at or below 10 degrees centigrade."Finally. hip. p < . or front withouta hardmaterialbetweenthe baby and the 4 caretaker.It mightbe imagined thatwarmer climateshavelarger(or smaller)numbers of phonemes. texts. 1 if there was some doubtin the ratingon baby-holding.92 2.09 1. 1991:206).464.99 1.But this alternative is the explanation also not supported.04). and hence to biguouslyin the originalethnographic include such cases in a statisticalanalysis probablyincreases random error. Munroe./ 403020 10 0 1 2 .195 a CV score (column 1) is the percentageof consonant-vowel syllables in the language. 3 (moderate)if the baby is held as above for about half the day. 3 3 4 5 6 Baby-Holding Figure 1. the N = 60.502 to . or frontof a caretaker or if therewas almost always a hardcarryingdevice between them.But of is this alternative either.andhigherCV scoresmighttherefore asbe sociatedwith largeror smallernumbers phonemes.the asexplanation not supported sociation(r = . The dataprovided to us by RobertL. one-tailed): literatecases have lower CV scores. Culture CV Score (1) Toradja Trobriands Truk Tzeltal Vietnamese Yakut Yanoama 61 80 42 32 16 45 76 Cold Mos (2) 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 Literacy (3) 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 Babyhold (4) 1 4 2 4 3 1 5 Doubtful (5) 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 Phonemes (6) V/C Ratio (7) Mean No.Literacy(column 3) is 1 if writing and readingsystems were long established and based on the local language.EMBER ANDEMBER / PREDICTORS CONSONANT-VOWEL OF SYLLABLES 735 Table 1.But thatis not true:CV scoreis not significantly relatedto culturalcomplexity(Munroeet al.One is that of in CV scoremay be relatedto variation cultural complexity because literacyis more likely in complex cultures.06) betweenCV score and numberof phonemes is not significantlydifferentfrom zero.it in mightbe imaginedthatthe variation CV scorescouldbe a consequenceof cross-language variationin the ratioof vowels to consonants: languageswith a high ratioof vowels mighthave a higherCV scoreforthatreasonalone. Syl (8) 3. Continued.48 3. Munroe(personal communication).2 if therewas some doubton numberof cold months. hip. 0 if literacy is absent. Data in columns 1-3.
001 level.334 in column3. Munroe on the mean of number syllablesper wordin each samplelanguage(see column 8 of Table 1). and . The resultsof the multipleregressions (columns3 and 4) show thatbaby-holdingis a of significantindependent predictor CV score: the standardizedcoefficientis . Accordingly. It turnsout thatthe averagenumber of syllablesin a wordis significantlyrelatedto CV score. Koreais the only cold climatesocietywherebabiesare varies held almostall of the day.we addedmean numberof syllablesto each of the models shown in Table2 and redidthe multiplereof gressions(see Table3).427 comparedwith . p <. but in the oppositedirectionfrom thatexpectedby the reviewer.Specialized words are less frequently used than ordinary words. two tailed).234.151 when the doubtful cases areremoved. The first two columns (1 and 2) show the multiple regressionresults when we considerjust the two independent variables proposed by Munroeet al.736 * AMERICANANTHROPOLOGIST VOL. (1996)-climate (dichotomized) and literacy.530. the moresyllablesin the averageword. is along with literacy. As is predictor we shall discussin the conclusion.e. The overallmodelin column 4 (includingclimate. We need to considerwhether climatemightbe moreimas a predictorif it were not dichotomizedin the portant manner Munroeet al. significant (r even thoughthe resultis oppositeto whatthe reviewerexpected. resultswereessentially The the same. one tailed). literacy But is not significantin column4.The reasoningis as follows: literatesoof cieties have a higherproportion specializedwords. to Now let us considerthe variable meannumber sylof of lables in a word. How strongare the effects relativeto each other?How together predict predictors stronglydo all of the theoretical have separateor indeCV score?Do our threepredictors between pendent effects? Is there any multicollinearity This them? (Are we dealing with redundant predictors?) inasmuchas two of last questionis particularly important the independentvariables--degree of baby-holdingand the climate variable dichotomized as warm versus cold-are significantly and moderatelycorrelatedwith each other(r = .To approximate averageword length. two tailed).when baby-holding not includedin the model. Removingthe doubtfulcases nora but mally strengthens real relationship the standardized coefficient for climate drops to .mean numberof syllables. Includingmean numberof syllables in the model seems to weakenthe effect of literacy(compare the coefficientsfor literacyin Table 3 and Table 2). If more complex morphologyreduces the likelihoodof CV syllables. numberof cold months).291).numberof cold monthsis no longera significant when baby-holding includedin the model.01.14Accordingly.the higher the averagenumberof CV syllables in the word.234. as with the dichotomizedclimate variable. (1996). 101. However.thatCV scores might be lower in literatesocieties because their words tend to be longer. which are shorterthan specializedwords ("Zipf's Law"-see Zipf 1935).In this sample. removingthe doubtfulcases increasesthe standardized coefficientsfor the two independent variables standardized coefficient for climate in column 2 is (the coefficient . the higherthe CV score.Thatis. literacy. and baby-holding) predictsnearly60% of the variancein .05 level.(The cases rateddoubtfullyon climate were removedfor the analysisin column2.450 when the and doubtfulcases on baby-holding climate are removed (p < .001. In contrast. andbaby-holding.. baby-holding from high to low in societies that have few or no cold bemonths.072. two tailed because the is was direction thecorrelation notexpected). There are no other significantrelationships variables. we must ask if numberof syllables could have affectedthe multipleregressionsshown in Table 2.the greaterlengthof wordsin literatesocieties mightbe an alternative explanation of the findingthatliteratesocietieshave loweraverage CV scores.although differenceis not = -. two tailed). The meannumber syllablesin a wordis a significantpredictor CV score. 4 * DECEMBER 1999 be explainedas a functionof word length.climatemay have been significantin the Munroeet al. Columns3 and 4 are criticalto our theoryaboutbaby-holding.) As with the bivari- ate correlations. However.Therein and betweenbaby-holding climateis striking lationship where the almostcompleteabsenceof high baby-holding the climateis cold (five or morecold months).358 compared with -. so literacy and mean number of syllables shouldaffectCV scoresin oppositedirections. No.literacy. This weakening is surprisingbecause literate languages tendto have fewersyllableson average(r = -. tweenthe independent Table 2 shows fourdifferentmultipleregressionanalyses that are all significantat the .we used data providedto us by Robert L.0005.374.Numberof cold monthsis a significant predictor. p < .424 (p < .Recallthatit is negativelyrelatedto literacy. Most important is whether baby-holdingis a significant indeof pendentpredictor CV score when the effects of climate and literacyare controlled.13The overallmodelusing all threepredictors accounts for nearly 50% of the variancein CV scores (. p = . the significantrelationshipbetween the average numberof syllablesin a word and CV score suggeststhat of we shouldconsiderwordlength(number syllables)in a post-hocanalysis.the longerthe of average word as measuredby numberof syllables. which is oppositeto what was suggestedby our reviewer.And of positive literatelanguagestendto have fewer syllablesin the averthe age word.not moresyllables. The correlation .We do so below. andthe standardized for literacyis -.Climateis no longera significant predictor at the .But firstlet us compare the effects of the predictors discussedso far:climate. (1996) analysislargelybecauseof its relationship baby-holding. Thus. we redidthe multipleregressions(not shown) with climateas an intervalvariable.07.690 squared)when the doubtfullyratedcases are omitted.N = 50. butrather of treatedas an interval variable(i.
in the first four languagegroupsof Table 4 and in the next-to-lastlanguagegroup. by significant most of the correlations high-six of them are .418 (p < . as is CV scores.05)a 53 . (1996) model (1) All cases Coefficient Standardized Warm(1) vs.05) . For example.) -.637 (p = .208 (p < .01) .220 .607 (p = .335 (p < .151(n.390 (p < .01)a .123 (n.599 .05) . In Table4.419 (p < .The constantis omitted.334 (p <. Cold (0) (2) Doubtfulson climate removed Standardized Coefficient Adding Baby-holding (3) All cases Standardized Coefficient (4) Doubtfuls on climate and baby-holdingremoved Standardized Coefficient Climate Literacy Baby-holding N R R2 .the resultsmight still be due to the fact that some of the samplelanguagesderivefromcommonancestral languages.Moreover. (1996) model (1) All cases Coefficient Standardized Climate Literacy Mean No.the effect of baby-holdingappearsnow to be the in stronger (compare coefficientsfor baby-holding columns3 and4 of Tables3 and2).336 (p <.000) . .61 or are Table 3.05) . Seven of the eightcorrelations positive.585 (p = . (3) thereis variation theindependent on variable baby-holdof ing. we show only those cases for which the following conditionsare true: (1) the sample containsmorethanone society in a given languagefamily or phylum.) -.001) -.s. Is the spreadin CV score predictedby baby-holding? While we do not have enoughcases for testsof statistical significancewithin languagegroups.291 (p <. we can look to see if degree of baby-holding consistently in predictsthe variation CV scores withinlanguagefamilies.000) .493 .001) 50 .316 .416 adjustedR2 a Probabilityvalues for the first three rows are one-tailedbecause the directionof causalitywas specified in advance.361 (p < .427(p< .01) 53 .000) .EMBER AND EMBER / PREDICTORS OF CONSONANT-VOWEL SYLLABLES 737 Table 2.s.001) 30 .477 .358 (p <.If anything.thereis at least a 38-point spread between the highest and lowest scores. A Reanalysis of the Models Presentedin Table 2 Adding MeanNumberof Syllables. A Comparisonof MultipleRegressionAnalyses PredictingCV Scoresa Munroeet al.626 (p = .whichis are a Sign Test (p = .170 (n.01) 50 .342 .001)a 60 .690 (p = .001) .702 (p = .s. (2) there is some variabilityin CV scores and amongthe cases in the languagefamily or phylum.001) -.246 .496 (p = .01)a .448 (4) Doubtfuls on climate and baby-holdingremoved Standardized Coefficient . one tailed).) -.000) .352 .332 (p <.even if the presentsampledoes not give us enoughcases perlanguagefamily for thatkindof analysis.) .The statusof baby-holding a predictor not affected by the additionof mean numberof syllables.001) -.035.000) .405 .335 adjustedR2 a of A two-tailedprobability valueis used for the prediction meannumberof syllablesperword.) -.s.s. of Syllables Baby-holding N R R2 Adding Baby-holding (3) All cases Standardized Coefficient .001) -. Munroeet al.368 (p < . To do so.278 (p < . we would be able to add the and variableof languagefamilyto the predictive equations coefficientsfor each languagefamstandardized compute ily.369 .392 .774 (p = . Althoughwe have discussedthe fact thatthe 60-culture PSF minimizesthe possible effects of common ancestry and diffusion.369 .000) . we can see thatthereis considerablevariationin many of the language groups shown. However.05) .we can test for the significanceof the directionof the correlations across all the groups(see the correlations the lastcolumnof Tain ble 4).595 (p < .535 (2) Doubtfulson climate removed Standardized Coefficient .01) 60 .01) 30 .450 (p <.If we had sufficient numbersof cases in various languagefamilies.216(n.becausethedirectionof effect was not anticipated.251 (p < .201 (n.374(p< .000) .263 (p < . Lookingatthe cases in Table4. we used the largestlanguagefamilyor phylum reported Voegelin andVoegelin (1977) for each of by our samplecases.
17 whereas a warmer climate makes baby-holdingpossible. However."The only exceptionis the Penutian phylumwhere to in the variation the two cases is contrary the baby-holding hypothesis.911 r = .00 The language groups were obtainedfrom Voegelin and Voegelin (1977).Multipleregression analysessuggestthatthesetwo factors-baby-holdingand mean numberof syllables in a word-are significantand of predictors CV scores. the in high variability warmclimatesocietiessuggestedone of causalfactwo possibilitiesto us: (1) thereis an important of tor missingin the Munroeet al.619 r = . asymmetrical relationship With one exception(Korea).Thus. in a cold climate (i.e.Munroeet al. 101.00 r = 1.we find that higher of proportions CV syllables are predictedby more syllables per averageword in a language. Hence they predicted that CV syllables would be more prevalentin warm cliis mateswheretherepresumably a greatdeal of communithat cationout of doors. (1996) theorizedthat CV (consonant-vowel)syllables are more clearly understood than otherkinds of syllables. Using t tests.they predicted literate would have fewer CV syllables because such languages rely languages on writtenas well as verbalcommunication.858 r = 1. If CV syllables really facilitate communicationout of doors. .530 with the dichotomizedclimate score) suggests the possibilitythat climate may operatebehindbaby-holding sense.In addition. the data presentedby Munroe et al.609 Penutian a Klamath38 Tzeltal 32 r = ..069 r = .Munroeet al. thebest way in a causalortemporal warm and safe (before modem.In addition.colderclimatesmight be more variable. tween climate and CV score is a spuriousresultof some otherfactor. (1996) foundthatbothcold climate and literacysignificantlypredictlower averageCV scores.'6 literacyis only significant These resultsdo not imply that climate is not causally involved in explainingCV scores-only that climate is The statisnot probably a directcausalpredictor.738 * AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST VOL. Summary and Conclusions In an earlierstudy.Thatway theycouldbe movedaround stowedfor safetyandbe keptwarmat the sametime. centrally to keep babies or heatedhouses)may be to keep them wrapped swaddled cradleor cradleboard day andnightin a separate (Whiting or 1981).29%have low or low/moderate baby-holding. 4 * DECEMBER 1999 Table 4.a cold climate may make baby-holdingand high caretaker contact disadvantageous.cliindependent of mate is no longera significantpredictor CV score and in one analysis. creatinga kind of regularrhythm). Comparisonsof CV Scores by Baby-Holdingwithin LanguageGroups. (1996) explanation CV that or (2) the relationship Munroeet al.Of the 37 societies with 4 or fewer cold months. No. foundbescores. Baby-HoldingScores Largest Language Groupa Afro-Asiatic Andean-Equatorial Austro-Asiatic Austronesian Ge-Pano-Carib Macro-Chibchan Niger-Congo Ona 40 Vietnamese 16 Toradja61 Toba 59 Cagaba60 Cuna 70 Truk42 Lau Fiji 72 Ifugao 55 Trobriands 80 Caingang57 Yanoama76 Ganda67 Tiv 39 Ashanti63 Bemba 67 Dogon 78 Kpelle 65 1 2 Rwala 42 3 Somali 49 4 Hausa80 Aymara80 Santal68 Iban48 Caraja65 Pemon 65 5 Correlation (Pearson's r) r = . moderate tical relationship between baby-holdingand climate (r = . to that (1996) show an asymmetry is contrary theirtheory. suggestherethathigh rhythm also partlyexplainsa high frequencyof CV baby-holding syllables (a high frequencyof CV syllables will createa of regularalternation consonantsand vowels.warmclimatesshouldalmostalwayshave high CV scores.Inthoseanalyses.-1.00 r = .Whereit is cold. This associationbetween climate and baby-holding would explain the puzzling betweenclimateandCV scores. baby-holding more variablein warmerclimates. more. with 5 or more While no language cold months)has a CV score as high as 60%.10 out of 11 societies in the samplewith 5 or morecold monthsare low or low/moderbut is ate on baby-holding. baby-holding Using Ayres's (1973) theorythatfrequent we makesregular rewarding.In otherwords.the warmer climatesarenearlyas likely to havelow as highCV scores.
with littleamnot in all languagesor only in environments bientnoise. social/culpossible independent tural anthropologistshave talked about experimentally In modelingand testingpossibleexplanations.Forexample. relatedto CV Whileclimatewas no longersignificantly score when baby-holdingand mean numberof syllables per word were addedto the multipleregressionequation. We hope will thatinvestigators soon tryto test these (andother)explanationsof variationin CV scores. In studies of dialectcommunitiesand addition. coefficientfor climatewas still not close the standardized to zero." for meannumber syllablesin a wordmightbe accounted of If CV the Munroetheoryof communicative efficiency.2'This last possibilityshouldalso be amenable experimental to investigation. We need to of communication moredimeasurethe frequency outdoor rectly. the experivestigatedexperimentally. cross-historical.20 Stringingconsonantstogetherwould allow the mouthto with remainmostly closed more of the time. good deal of open at would allow communication a distance. would like to concludeby guage-culture a little about other possible causes of higher speculating In CV scoresandhow they mightbe investigated. CVCV may be but moreintelligibleat a distancethanothercombinations. example. indirector direct.if evaporation fasterwherethe air is cold (becausethe air is drier). we may not the variablesconsidbe properlyinterpreting independent ered so far.use moreCV sylladoors.will tell us. high baby-holdingmight be and interaction a high demeasuringhigh caretaker-child In gree of baby-talkdirectedat the infant. by syllables providemore phoneticcontrastthanothersyllables. and there may be otherpossible causes.'9 the hope that to otherswill be motivated explorethisnew domainof lanwe relationships.but only in cold climates. studies.It mightbe adaptive morecomfortable) keep (or the mouthclosed as much as possible where it is cold.Also.Moreover. Notes was completed Most Acknowledgments. reported do individuals who wereheld moreoftenas babies(assuming that could be established)use more CV syllables in their speech? Do people who spend more time out of in climates. the domain considered of language-culture here. (1996) and Munroe and Silander(1999) show thatthe degreeto whichsyllablesareCV in formis a and that measurable predictable linguisticvariable offersa new windowontolanguage-culture relationships. as compared a vowel afterevery consonant.the resultregarding permitsuch communication.butheavy space flora (as in a rain forest or dense woods) is less likely to Second.The possiblecomputting forteffect of a low CV scorein a cold climatecouldbe inAnd.keepingthe mouthclosed as much as possible might be healthieras well as more in one could therebyminimizeevaporation comfortable.the findingsreported here andby Munroe et al. Munroeet al.This moreclearlyunderstood in needs to be testedby experiments different assumption Such studiesshouldnot be confinedto subenvironments. the environmentmay influence the freA quency of outdoorcommunication.There to explainthe cross-language may be more accuratemodels to test.For yearsnow.in case the differential of intelligibility differentsequencesof soundvariesby lanFor guage and/orenvironment. particuis directed to the possible usefulness of lar. historicaland cross-cultural data on possible causes that come from earlierpoints in time thanthe dataon CV scores could confirmor disconfirmassumptions aboutwhatis cause andwhatis effect. (1996) haveassumedthatCV syllablesare thanotherkindsof syllables.as the literacytheory wouldseem to imply? These variousspeculationsare not mutuallyexclusive. efforts We arejust at the beginningof possibleresearch in variation CV scores. the mouthandthroat. jects speakingthe same language.thatposrelationships sibilitymay now be at hand. For example. This possibility shouldbe investigated.EMBER AND EMBER / PREDICTORS OF CONSONANT-VOWEL SYLLABLES 739 While our resultscast doubton the notion thatclimate directly affects CV score.one couldmakeethnocross-cultural tests using diachronicdata. The causes of high CV scores may be manyor few. mentswould not have to use subjectswho speakdifferent is languages.particularly warmer that bles in theirspeech?Or is it rather people who spend moretime out of doorsin cold climatesuse fewerCV syllables in their speech? Finally.And we may needto considerthe contextof talking. Only studiesthat look at more than more research.This suggeststhattheremightbe some directeffect of climate. Whateverthe outcomes of futurestudies. the Munroetheory about the communicative efficiency of the CV syllablemay still deBut serve consideration. climate (as measuredby number of cold months)may not be a very good indicatorof the frequencyof communicationout of doors. John Arbuthnot (1971) thought that northern languagesmight have more consonantsbecause people wouldbe afraidto open theirmouthsandlet in the to cold air. the more syllablesthereare in a word.the more CV syllables might be needed for clarity. example. of this research in the Institutes Comparative Anthropological during Summer in fundedby the NationalScienceFoundation a Research. For example.Accordingto Harris (1968:42). the reader genuine experimentsthat would manipulatesome of the variables.comparative individualscould also be conductedto test the predictors For here and otherpossible predictors. . in this case. particularly one possiblecauseat a time. using multivariate techniques such as multipleregressionanalysis. in could narExperiments the field or in the laboratory row downthe causalpossibilities.andso couldotherkinds and of researchincludingethnohistorical. do more educatedpeople use fewer CV syllablesin theirspeech.
9. we decided ahead of time not to count a case as high in baby-holdingif a baby was carriedmost of the day on a caretakerwith a hard material(e. when the firstauthorwas in Samoa. Since the baby-holding score is designed to measure the degree to which the baby has body contact with the caretaker(hearingthe heartbeatand sensing the regularrhythmof walking or working with repetitive motions). 1. As of 1955-56.most societies with cradleboards not regularlycarry infants on them. Rather. Another. We are also gratefulto Michael Burton. Munroe (the latter unfortunatelynow deceased). (1996). Ayres (1973:399) also notes that the effect of baby-holding on regular rhythm in music is less strongin cold climates probablybecause the wearingof layers of clothing will attenuatethe reward value of body contact with the caretaker. 4. On the other hand. discussions we had during the Institutes. 1996: note 2). as they define it. we did not consider the amountof clothing in ourcoding. 2. They are responsible for many of the scores we use here. as the reviewer points out.havingfew literate it more difficult for literacyto have a significanteffect. Munroe et al. which is known as the Outline of CulturalMaterials (OCM) and consists of more than770 subjectcategories. Therefore. as is called for in multiple regression analysis. Ayres (1973:392) reports that although cradleboardsappear do designed for portability. 7. who (at the time) was unawareof any hypotheses to be tested.But that kind of carryingis probablyunlikely anyway. While thatgrantdid not directly fund our work.The Munroes (RobertL. With regard to the objection . (1996).cradleboardsare used to hold and protect the infant while the caretakeris engaged in other activities. We thanka reviewerfor posing this question.If the presenceof one type of syllable in a multiple-syllable word influences the choice of anothersyllable in some way. See Ember(1997) for the evolution of HRAF as a not-for-profitresearch organizationand as a materialson the culturesof collection of full-text ethnographic the world. 11. 1996). would they expect people to spend a substantialportion of the time indoors. We use the data in Maddieson (1984) on number of phonemesin 23 of the samplelanguages. the scores for CV proportionswill differ somewhat if the word or the syllable is used as the unit of analysis. 1996 (Robert L. Such a list would tend to minimize specialist vocabularyand increasethe proportionof commonly used words. 6. 4 * DECEMBER grantto the HumanRelationsArea Files. 1984). With regard to the scoring system. Munroe. Ratherthan eliminating historically related cases. Munroefor suggesting this analysis and providingus with the data. 1984). 10. In regardto the distribution literacy. While numberof cold months is technically an intervalscore. historicalrelatedness may decrease sample variance.the few cases of disagreementwere resolved by discussion. The VC syllable may also not provide as much contrast as the CV syllable (Flanagan1965: 224. is described in Murdocket al. Only when the climate is cold.Kleinbaumand Kupper(1978) say that of dichotomizing an independent variable is recommended in multipleregressionanalysiswhen the variableis unevenlydisIf tributed. But it does have a significant effect. Maddieson (1984) provides data on vowel-consonant ratio for the same 23 cases referredto in note 11. Munroe for suggesting this analysis and providing us with the data.influenced the direction of our research. the notion of independenceof units requiredfor most statisticalanalyses is violated. we treatedclimate as a "dummy" or dichotomizedvariable-5 or more cold monthsversus fewer than5 cold months-following the reasoningand measurementprocedurein Munroeet al. cases shouldmake then. However. Historically related samples do not necessarily have higher correlations(see Ember 1971). 8. 12. a cradleboard) between the baby and the caretaker. more recent solutions for Galton's in problemconsider autocorrelation the predictivemodels and test for its possible effects.and when this happens a researchermay falsely conclude that a result is significant when it is not (Dow et al. as referredto in Munroe et al.personalcommunication) did not expect it to predictin a linearway. The first and second authorsindependently coded degree of baby-holding.g. No.personalcommunication)chose the word as the unit becausethey were concernedthatmultiple syllables in a word would not have semanticor morphological independence.This study builds on the pioneering researchof RobertL.740 * 1999 AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST VOL. All the CV scores reportedhere and by Munroe et al.Because the amountof clothing worn between the caretaker the baby is too hardto judge from ethand nography (and varies by season). Munroe. (1996) were calculated independently by Stephen Winters.CV score. 5.We thereforetry to correctfor this possibility here by controllingfor the averagenumberof syllables in a word. Munroe for providing us with the CV scores for these additionalseven cases. The current version of the HRAF indexing system. 3. We thank Robert L.The same reviewer asked why the CV score was computedby the word and then averagedacross words ratherthanusing the syllable as the unit of analysis. (1987). Dow et al. anything. The dependentvariable. The CV scores on the othercases were obtainedfrom Munroeet al. is an intervalvariable. We thank Robert L. personal communication). but they did not get sufficientnumbersof comparable words to make this methodpracticable(RobertL.in our multiple regressionmodel. and we are grateful for their help and advice. 101.and we thankRobert L. and Leila Monaghanfor their help and advice as well as the anonymous reviewers for their many valuable suggestions.particularlywith RobertL. one reviewer has raised two importantmethodological questions. The first is word list (such as the core vocabularylist) why a standardized was not employed. Munroe. Munroe. independentof the theoreticalpredictors (BurtonandWhite 1991. The Munroes did in fact try to employ standardized word lists. 13.Carmella Moore. Munroeand Ruth H..A reviewer has questionedthe use of multiple regressionbecause literacy occurs only in nine cases and because there is some heteroskedasticityof variancein the errorterm for the prediction of CV score from cold versus warm climate.presumablymore conservativeway of measuring consonant-vowel alternation-omitting sonorantsand "h"' sounds in calculating CV scores (because sonorantsand "h" sounds share some featureswith vowels)-also discriminated in the same direction between the warmer and cold cases (Munroeet al. Literacyis also a dummy variable (literate versus nonliterate). Almost all of the informationcoded was found in HRAF (OCM) subjectcategory854 ("Infant Care").
Munroeand Silander(1999) have replicated the climate-CV score relationshipwithin four languagefamilies. as AmericanEthnologist 11:754-770. Robert L. Anthropologist 1997 Evolutionof the HumanRelationsArea Files. Hockett. Reitz 1984 Galton'sProblem NetworkAutocorrelation.Cross-Cultural search 33:43-62. it is present only when climate is the only predictor specified. Michael S. Kupper 1978 Applied RegressionAnalysis and OtherMultivariable Methods.. 1978 Size of ColorLexicon:Interaction Cultural Bioof and American 80:364-367.5% of the time by chance (if CV score were not related to climate).CT: HRAFPress.Ronald 1994 The SocialArt:Language Its Uses. New Haven.David G.the computereliminates climate from the model. As one reviewer suggested. CrossCultural Research 31:3-15.David Levinson and MartinJ.andPaul Kay 1969 Basic ColorTerms:TheirUniversality Evolution. Leila Monaghan (personalcommunication) is currently investigating the relationship between languagelearningtechniquesand CV scores. for this suggestion.e. Beverly Hills. (CV) Syllable. Malone. 359-3 84.Sanford 1970 TheAssignment Numbers RankOrder of to Categories. RuthH. Y. Labovitz. literacy. Berlin.Cecil H.RobertL. 21. 14. Ross..Ethnology 10:98-106.London: andR. Arbuthnot. MichaelBurton. There were three language families in the original Munroe et al. gersUniversity Brown. References Cited J. Witkowski 1980 LanguageUniversals.CarolR. Barbara on Practices Rhythmin Mu1973 Effectsof Infant-Carrying sic. 1996). andDouglas R.JamesL.Cambridge: of Cambridge University Press.EMBER AND EMBER / PREDICTORS OF CONSONANT-VOWEL SYLLABLES 741 in about heteroskedasticity the errorterm for the climate predictor.and Candice Bradley 1991 Problemsof Measurement Cross-Cultural in Research Behavior Science Research 25:187-216. Ayres.New Brunswick. 1965 SpeechAnalysisSynthesisandPerception. baby talk could reinforce the learningof CV syllables. American Review35:515-524. Maddieson.Source2 in theHRAF Collectionof Ethnography.and KarlP. We thank Dr. Burton. Hamburg. and of California Press. riesof Culture..Cross-Cultural Munroe. We thanka reviewerfor this suggestion. Sociological Lewis-Beck. this result (3 out of 3) could occur 12. Munroe. 17. the stepwise regression analysis removes climate and literacy. dai. One of the reviewerssuggestedthis analysis. RutNJ: Press. 16. logicalFactors.Behavior ScienceResearch 25:55-78..Marvin 1968 TheRiseof Anthropological A of Theory: History TheoNew York: Thomas Crowell.baby-holding.and mean numberof syllables as possible independentpredictors. Zwei Yanonaimi-Stdimme & Nordwestbrasilien Cram.Melvin 1971 An EmpiricalTest of Galton's Problem. When the doubtfullyratedcases are eliminated..Indo-European.. 1971 An Essay Concerningthe Effects of the Air on Human Bodies. Harris. Robert Moore. eds. White 1991 Regional Comparisons. Macaulay. Berkeley: University Brown. variation in climate also seems to predict variation in CV scores within language families.Douglas R. warmerclimate predicts Equatorial. To be sure.DeGruyter (Kommissionsverlag as Translated TheSurara Pakiand Co.andS. 18..andStephenWinters 1996 Cross-CulturalCorrelatesof the Consonant-Vowel Research 30:60-83. Tonson.Cecil H. Two YanoamaTribes in NorthwestBrazil by Frieda SchtitzeforHRAF. Dow. andLawrenceL.personal communication). Data. but the parallel with the significant finding describedin this paragraph provides additionalconfirmation that common ancestryor diffusion cannot explain the results reportedhere andpreviously(Munroeet al. a sleep researcherand physician in Irvine. NorthScituate. Burton. Flanagan. With the variables climate. 1980 Applied Regression:An Introduction. MarcH. Ember.1960. 20. Drap.Replications.CA. 1985 DistinguishedLecture:F.CharlesF. a higher mean CV score. Kleinbaum. MichaelL. New York:Oxand fordUniversity Press.. Pp.. Germany). UsingSecondary Ember. MA:Duxbury Press. Malcolm M. J. (1996) sample that had variationin climate (RobertL. Becher. The Inuit method of carryingthe baby underthe parka is adaptedto extremecold. Munroe.RobertL.White. 19. American Anthropologist 87:263-281. the one that specifies all three predictors ratherthanjust one. andMegan Silander 1999 Climate and the Consonant-Vowel (CV) Syllable:A ReReplicationWithinLanguageFamilies. Ethos1:387-404. After we wrote the first draft of this paper. Brent. We also used stepwise regressionanalysis to allow the computerto choose a model that fits the data.New Haven. Hans in and 1918 Die Surnira Pakidaii. Similarly. i. CA: SagePublications. New York: AcademicPress. and StanleyR. When we examinedthe residuals in the more complete model.and Historical NetworkAnalysis.MichaelL. Munroe (personal communication) pointed out that Harris (1968:42) cites John Arbuthnot (1971) as having thought that northernlanguagesmight have more consonants because people would be afraidto open theirmouthsand let in the cold air.In all three of these families (AndeanNadene). . 15. Munroe. and 1984 Language LivingThings.In TowardExplainingHuman Culture. therewas no evidence of heteroskedasticity in the errorterm.Ian 1984 Patterns Sounds. And in a recent study.
Whiting. M.) SampleUniverse. F. 298. and B. Appliedto Lawsof Marriage Descent. 155-179. the of 1888 Ona Methodof Investigating Development Instiand of tutions. 4 * DECEMBER 1999 Murdock. Clellan.Boston:HoughtonMifflin.742 AMERICANANTHROPOLOGIST * VOL. Leo RaymondKennedy. 1935 The Psycho-Biologyof Language. on In Handbook Cross-Cultural of HumanDevelopment. . JohnA.D. Voegelin and 1977 Classification Indexof theWorld'sLanguages. George K..Source14in theHRAFCollectionof Ethnography. andF. Hudson.Behavior ence Notes 2:70-80. Munroe. No. Simmons. eds. Zipf. Ford. EdwardB.JohnW. Stigler as 1982 WinterTemperature a Constraint theMigration in of Preindustrial American Anthropologist84:279Peoples. M. ington. Garland. L.and StephenM. C. New York: Whiting. Sodergren.JohnW. M. Voegelin.dissertation. (See also The HRAF QualityControl ScienceNotes2:81-88. S. New York:Elsevier.AlfredE. 101. Whiting 1987 Outlineof Cultural Materials. University Community. Pp. M.Journal Institute GreatBritain Ireof and the RoyalAnthropological land18:245-269. Raoul HRAFProbability Sci1967 TheProposed Sample.CT:Human Naroll. reviseded. Tylor.GeorgeP. Relations ven. Robert Munroe. RuthH. New Ha5th AreaFiles. Beatrice Whiting. 1981 Environmental Constraints InfantCarePractices. W.andJohnW..Behavior Piker.Steven Isaac of and in 1964 An Examination Character Socialization aThai of WashPeasant Ph.
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