A recent study published by the University of New Mexico in collaboration with Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage-CNRS in France, seeks to answer this enormous question: why do humans speak so many different languages? How are languages formed? This is an ever-daunting question in the science of Linguistics and this study may propose a plausible answer.
The researchers worked on a sample of over 600 hundred languages and looked for a connection between their form and the environment the language is spoken in. Τhey paid attention to the use of vowels and consonants on the one hand and on climatic conditions on the other. Their findings may suggest that the evolvement of language can actually be connected to the environment.
This means that a group of people may alter the way they communicate in order to make it as efficient as possible in given environmental conditions. For example, consonants are not used as much in cultures that have grown in high temperature areas, due to the rippling of the air that is caused by such temperatures, which disrupts the path of soundwaves and thus make it difficult for consonants to be heard.
This theory of acoustic adaptations still leaves a lot to be explained and many factors to be taken into consideration, but at the same time is a great step towards a plausible explanation.