Media Coverage: Kiwi linguists making headlines

Not one, but two high-profile research articles were published this week by linguists from Auckland University, and have received extensive coverage by global media.

Research from Prof  Russell Gray and colleagues challenged Noam Chomsky’s universal language rules in a paper published in Nature (a simplified explanation of the research can be seen here).

Meanwhile, Dr Quentin Atkinson single-handedly completed a first-of-its-kind analysis of word sounds, showing an African origin for human language, published today in Science.

Both studies have received a large amount of international media attention. Just a few of the articles covering the research are listed below:

Prof  Russell Gray et al.

BBC News: Language universality idea tested with biology method

Wired: Evolution of Language Takes Unexpected Turn

LA Times: Culture trumps biology in language development, study argues

ABC Science: Language rules ‘stay in the family’

Dr Quentin Atkinson Kiwi discovers mother of language

New Scientist: Evolutionary Babel was in southern Africa

Washington Post: Human language arose in southern Africa, first-of-its-kind analysis suggests

Wall Street Journal: Study Points to Mother of All Mother Tongues

The Telegraph: Language like people came out of Africa