full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

Unscramble the Blue Letters

If we go to the island of Papua New Guinea, we can find about 800 to 1,000 distinct human languages, different human languages, spoken on that island alone. There are places on that island where you can encounter a new laanugge every two or three miles. Now, idibecrnle as this snuods, I once met a ppuaan man, and I asked him if this could possibly be true. And he said to me, "Oh no. They're far closer together than that." And it's true; there are paecls on that island where you can encounter a new language in under a mile. And this is also true of some remote oceanic islands.

Open Cloze

If we go to the island of Papua New Guinea, we can find about 800 to 1,000 distinct human languages, different human languages, spoken on that island alone. There are places on that island where you can encounter a new ________ every two or three miles. Now, __________ as this ______, I once met a ______ man, and I asked him if this could possibly be true. And he said to me, "Oh no. They're far closer together than that." And it's true; there are ______ on that island where you can encounter a new language in under a mile. And this is also true of some remote oceanic islands.

Solution

  1. incredible
  2. language
  3. papuan
  4. sounds
  5. places

Original Text

If we go to the island of Papua New Guinea, we can find about 800 to 1,000 distinct human languages, different human languages, spoken on that island alone. There are places on that island where you can encounter a new language every two or three miles. Now, incredible as this sounds, I once met a Papuan man, and I asked him if this could possibly be true. And he said to me, "Oh no. They're far closer together than that." And it's true; there are places on that island where you can encounter a new language in under a mile. And this is also true of some remote oceanic islands.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
social learning 6
visual theft 5
cumulative cultural 4
million years 3
hand axe 3
modern world 3
natural selection 2
remote control 2
control device 2
extract termites 2
crack open 2
anthropologists call 2
everyday lives 2
cultural adaptation 2
small groups 2
finished arrows 2
friendship links 2
official languages 2
european union 2
fine motor 2
motor control 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
remote control device 2
cumulative cultural adaptation 2
fine motor control 2

Important Words

  1. asked
  2. closer
  3. distinct
  4. encounter
  5. find
  6. guinea
  7. human
  8. incredible
  9. island
  10. islands
  11. language
  12. languages
  13. man
  14. met
  15. mile
  16. miles
  17. oceanic
  18. papua
  19. papuan
  20. places
  21. possibly
  22. remote
  23. sounds
  24. spoken
  25. true