I was wondering if it may be appropriate for this site to have tags for and , having to do with the effects of the biology and the physical environment, respectively, on the evolution of a language.

I believe that my recent question would certainly benefit from the tag and, judging from the answers I have seen so far, I think that future questions could easily arise that are much more specific. That tag, specifically, was inspired by this comment to a related question on the Linguistics site. The tag, on the other hand, was inspired by this answer to my aforementioned question, which I believe nods toward potential future questions along those lines.

Since I'm very new to this, I'd rather let someone with more knowledge and experience propose the exact definitions for each tag, but I do believe that these are right in our wheelhouse at the intersection of worldbuilding and linguistics.


I think the subject matters are ones it could be good to have tags for. I'm not sure whether geolinguistics is the right term though. Wikipedia says this:

One academic tradition with regard to geolinguistics as a branch of linguististics gives open recognition to the role map-making can play in linguistic research by seeing the terms dialect geography, language geography and linguistic geography as being synonymous with geolinguistics.

A second linguistic tradition is that of The American Society of Geolinguistics which interprets geolinguistics to be "An academic discipline involving the analysis and implications of the geographical location, distribution and structure of language varieties within a temporal framework, either in isolation or in contact and/or conflict with one another, being originally conceived of by Mario Pei as being a branch of linguistics which would be used to do objective-oriented research on real life language issues and where interdisciplinary approaches would be acceptable."

Neither really match your question. I feel like I've seen another term for what you're asking about, but I can't remember what it was.

Biolinguistics is probably a good enough term? But again, someone else may be able to tell us another term scholars use.


Biolinguistics seems like it would be a good tag for what that answer describes, and a useful tag for this site. While outside of this stack exchange, "biolinguistics" is an interdisciplinary field concerned with exploring the biological foundations of language from a more cognitive science perspective, I see no reason why the term cannot be generalized for the influence of biology on language development and evolution in general -- it would be useful for questions about how non-human anatomy would affect language development, for instance.

  • Do you have any thoughts on "geolinguistics?" As curiousdannii said in their answer, I'm not entirely sure that that's the appropriate term for what I was getting at.
    – Aporia
    Mar 3 '18 at 1:10
  • Yeah it doesn't seem like a particularly good way to describe the concept, but I don't really know of a better one. "physical environment" or something maybe? idk
    – Sparksbet
    Mar 3 '18 at 1:18

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