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Commentary: Large-scale psychological differences within China explained by rice vs. wheat agriculture.

Roberts SG - Front Psychol (2015)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Netherlands.

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First, since the original publication, researchers have created new linguistic trees that can provide the needed resolution... For example, the Glottolog phylogeny (Hammarström et al., ) has at least three levels of classification for the relevant varieties, though this does not have branch lengths (see also “reference” trees produced in List et al., )... A second distance matrix was produced which represented the difference in the proportion of rice growing between each pair of provinces (taken from Talhelm et al.)... Complete data was available for 40 language varieties from 18 provinces... The rice and linguistic distances were compared using a Mantel test (which compares the correlation between two matrices with the distribution of the correlation when one of the matrices is permuted)... That is, provinces which are more similar in the proportion of rice growing are also more similar in their vocabularies... Indeed, the root of the tree splits provinces in the north from those in the south and sub-branches of the tree spread east-to-west... These results suggest that the prevalence of rice growing is related to cultural contact... This means that a more careful consideration of historical relationships between provinces is warranted before the link between rice production and collectivism can be confirmed... One part of Talhelm et al.'s study which may be more robust to the findings presented here are the results at the county-level for neighboring provinces... Further surveys similar to Talhelm et al.'s may consider eliciting linguistic data from participants, as well as psychological or sociological data, with the aim of using them as controls for relatedness... In general, researchers should be wary of correlations that do not control for shared cultural history.

No MeSH data available.


A tree of historical relationships between language varieties constructed from hierarchical clustering of similarities in vocabulary. Provinces on the “rice–wheat” border are highlighted in gray (provinces south of the border produce more rice). The black triangle indicates the root of the tree. The top four branches of the tree are colored differently (varieties within the same branch are more closely related than varieties in different branches). Branch lengths are not meaningful.
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Figure 1: A tree of historical relationships between language varieties constructed from hierarchical clustering of similarities in vocabulary. Provinces on the “rice–wheat” border are highlighted in gray (provinces south of the border produce more rice). The black triangle indicates the root of the tree. The top four branches of the tree are colored differently (varieties within the same branch are more closely related than varieties in different branches). Branch lengths are not meaningful.

Mentions: A tree of historical relations can be estimated from the historical distances using hierarchical clustering. Figure 1 shows this tree (from the first dataset) projected onto a map of China. The “rice–wheat” border from Talhelm et al. is highlighted. This separates the high rice production areas in the south from low rice production areas in the north. It's clear that the historical relations align with this border. Indeed, the root of the tree splits provinces in the north from those in the south and sub-branches of the tree spread east-to-west.


Commentary: Large-scale psychological differences within China explained by rice vs. wheat agriculture.

Roberts SG - Front Psychol (2015)

A tree of historical relationships between language varieties constructed from hierarchical clustering of similarities in vocabulary. Provinces on the “rice–wheat” border are highlighted in gray (provinces south of the border produce more rice). The black triangle indicates the root of the tree. The top four branches of the tree are colored differently (varieties within the same branch are more closely related than varieties in different branches). Branch lengths are not meaningful.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4493317&req=5

Figure 1: A tree of historical relationships between language varieties constructed from hierarchical clustering of similarities in vocabulary. Provinces on the “rice–wheat” border are highlighted in gray (provinces south of the border produce more rice). The black triangle indicates the root of the tree. The top four branches of the tree are colored differently (varieties within the same branch are more closely related than varieties in different branches). Branch lengths are not meaningful.
Mentions: A tree of historical relations can be estimated from the historical distances using hierarchical clustering. Figure 1 shows this tree (from the first dataset) projected onto a map of China. The “rice–wheat” border from Talhelm et al. is highlighted. This separates the high rice production areas in the south from low rice production areas in the north. It's clear that the historical relations align with this border. Indeed, the root of the tree splits provinces in the north from those in the south and sub-branches of the tree spread east-to-west.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Language and Cognition Department, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics Nijmegen, Netherlands.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

First, since the original publication, researchers have created new linguistic trees that can provide the needed resolution... For example, the Glottolog phylogeny (Hammarström et al., ) has at least three levels of classification for the relevant varieties, though this does not have branch lengths (see also “reference” trees produced in List et al., )... A second distance matrix was produced which represented the difference in the proportion of rice growing between each pair of provinces (taken from Talhelm et al.)... Complete data was available for 40 language varieties from 18 provinces... The rice and linguistic distances were compared using a Mantel test (which compares the correlation between two matrices with the distribution of the correlation when one of the matrices is permuted)... That is, provinces which are more similar in the proportion of rice growing are also more similar in their vocabularies... Indeed, the root of the tree splits provinces in the north from those in the south and sub-branches of the tree spread east-to-west... These results suggest that the prevalence of rice growing is related to cultural contact... This means that a more careful consideration of historical relationships between provinces is warranted before the link between rice production and collectivism can be confirmed... One part of Talhelm et al.'s study which may be more robust to the findings presented here are the results at the county-level for neighboring provinces... Further surveys similar to Talhelm et al.'s may consider eliciting linguistic data from participants, as well as psychological or sociological data, with the aim of using them as controls for relatedness... In general, researchers should be wary of correlations that do not control for shared cultural history.

No MeSH data available.