If the goal is to communicate, why should the speaker bear all the burden?
It can be hard to understand a non-native speaker of your own language. But conversation is a two-way street and linguists are figuring out how native listeners can improve their half of the interaction.
Milling grain meant less wear and tear on neolithic teeth, which had other effects on language.
Considering language from a biological perspective led researchers to the idea that new food processing technologies affected neolithic human beings' jaws – and allowed new language sounds to emerge.
Inflammatory words can prime a mind.
A new theory of language suggests that people understand words by unconsciously simulating what they describe. Repeated exposure – and the simulation that comes with it – makes it easier to act.