May 29, 2007

Genes and tones

An interesting paper by Dan Dediu and D. Robert ("Bob") Ladd, "Linguistic tone is related to the population frequency of the adaptive haplogroups of two brain size genes, ASPM and Microcephalin", will be published today at PNAS (it doesn't seem to be up there yet). The authors have put an accessible explanation up on the web here -- this is a wonderful idea, something scientists should always do in the case of research that is likely to get significant play in the popular press.

I don't have anything to add to their discussion, pending close study of the paper and (more likely) observation of the press coverage, so you should just go read the whole thing.

Posted by Mark Liberman at May 29, 2007 12:13 PM