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Contact: Mark Dingemanse
mark.dingemanse@mpi.nl
31-626-971-983
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Map Huh Universal Word

Caption: A word like huh? -- used to initiate repair when, for example, one has not clearly heard what someone just said -- is found in roughly the same form in spoken languages across the globe. Languages 1-10 are examined in detail in the study. Locations are approximate. In all languages except 1, 2, and 21 the pitch of the word is rising. 1. Cha'palaa ʔaː 2. Icelandic ha 3. Spanish e 4. Siwu ãː 5. Dutch hɜ 6. Italian ɛː 7. Russian aː 8. Lao hãː 9. Mandarin Chinese ãː 10. Murrinh-Patha aː 11. ǂĀkhoe Haiǁom hɛ 12. Chintang hã 13. Duna ɛ̃: 14. English hã 15. French ɛ̃ 16. Hungarian hm/ha 17. Kri ha: 18. Tzeltal hai 19. Yélî Dnye ɛ̃ 20. Yurakaré æ 21. Lahu hãi 22. Tai/Lue hy̌/há 23. Japanese e 24. Korean e 25. German hɛ̃ 26. Norwegian hæ 27. Herero e 28. Kikongo e 29. Tzotzil e 30. Bequia Creole ha: 31. Zapotec aj.

Credit: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

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Related news release: Universals of conversation


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