Scientists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have initially stated that the left brain hemisphere is directly responsible for the processing of languages. But recent findings of the team of biopsychologists have proven that both cerebral hemispheres are responsible for the processing of the whistled Turkish language. The team was comprised of three researchers, Onur Güntürkün, Constanze Hahn and Monika Güntürkün, who published their discoveries in the journal Current Biology.
It has been stated that the left hemisphere is responsible for the learning and processing of languages, written texts and sign languages altogether. On the other hand, the right hemisphere addresses acoustic signals through slow frequencies, melody and pitch.
Onur Güntürkün stated that the theory which explained how the asymmetry in the processing of a language is not in correlation with the physical properties of that particular language is a very valid one, while he confessed that we should consider ourselves lucky due to the presence of the whistled Turkish language.
The team from Bochum subjected locals from Kuşköy to a thorough test, a village from Turkey, who speak both traditional and whistled Turkish. The inhabitants of the village had to listen to syllables via headphones, either spoken or whistled. During the test, they heard either different or the same syllables in both ears. They were required to say which syllables they apprehended.
So it seems that the right hemisphere handles sensorial stimuli from the left ear, whereas the left one from the right ear. And it was proven that the left brain hemisphere was dominant whenever they heard spoken Turkish syllables. But a conjunction was reached while listening to the whistled language, instead of an asymmetry.
Güntürkün reported that whistled Turkish has a different arrangement, comparable to how written and spoken Turkish works. However, the similarities between spoken and whistled Turkish are evident: vocabulary and grammar coincide regarding these two.
It is a fact that whistled Turkish can traverse a reasonable distance and be heard over several kilometers. Whistled Turkish is primarily put to use by inhabitants of the mountainous area of north-eastern Turkey.
The biopsychologist admitted he was unfamiliar with whistled Turkish until a colleague of his first told him of the Australian variant. And he said that the theory regarding language asymmetry has now acquired new overtones.
Nevertheless, whistled languages have quite a history in mankind’s development, having been used for centuries, across the Canary Islands, northwestern Africa, the Brazilian Amazon and so on and so forth.
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