But one feature–whether a language uses pitch as well as vowels and
consonants to convey word meanings–stood apart. Those, such as Chinese,
that encipher meaning in pitch are called “tonal languages”. Those that
do not, like English, are “non-tonal”. And it was versions of Dr
Dediu’s and Dr Ladd’s two microcephaly-related genes that matched the
49 populations along tonal and non-tonal lines.