There has been constant confusion among the linguists as to which of the parents has a stronger influence on a child’s language. According to a recent study, two hypotheses have been laid out namely the father tongue and the mother tongue.
The findings on the mother tongue signify the use of the language that follows maternal inheritance. On the other hand, the father tongue hypothesis signifies that paternal language influences the local language, especially in populated regions.
A team of researchers conducted a study led by the population geneticist Li Jin, in which in Indo-European families, the paternal lineages were related to the language vocabulary and maternal lineages were related to pronunciation and diction.
The genetic-linguistic relationship of 34 populations of Indo-European languages was researched by the researchers. The compositions of Y-chromosomes and mtDNA haplogroups were assembled from the Indo-European populations that could determine the maternal and paternal language. Stable mutations were used to identify and define the paragroups or haplogroups.
To compare the languages of the Indo-European regions, a basic word list and phonemic inventory were used to show the effect on the vocabulary and sound systems in language.
Based on the study, it was found that the change in lexicon reflects the differences in the paternal lines, while phonemic dissimilarity reflects the differences in the maternal lines, after the removal of the effect of geography.
(With inputs from ANI)