I'm just going through "History of the Steppes" on Wondrium/Great Courses. The lecturer mentions "Distributed Survival Theory" for explaining language acquisition with nomadic people (this is part of the graphic that comes up). I've looked in their guidebook and searched both names online but haven't found anything.
Is there anywhere else I can read up on this? Preferably material an amateur enthusiast would find accessible.
If context helps I'll post a manual transcription of where it comes up:
The study of Indo-European linguistics has been an occupation of western scholars since the 18th century and I have to put in a couple of caveats. When you study language families they should not be mistaken for race. Peoples will change language quite frequently. The speakers of one language (sometimes a minority) will actually assimilate a majority of other people to their language. This has happened many times. Anthropologists have done considerable study on this with modern languages families and there is a theory known as "Distributed Theory" or "Distributed Survival Theory" and that explains that nomadic peoples are particularly skillful because of their climate, because of their struggle in life, in learning languages and adapting to different language systems.
That meant nomads for instance who spoke Iranian languages in the period of antiquity or Turkic languages in the early Middle Ages or Mongolian languages in the later Middle Ages. They came to learn a variety of other languages, they adopted what is known as loan words, that is words for items they didn't have in their native language and they also spread their language as a Koine, as a means of communication across the steppes and you'll find in various occasions that the nomads will actually assimilate a larger settled population. This is a theme that will repeat itself throughout this course. We'll see that particularly with Turkish speakers we believe the same was true early Indo-European speakers in the prehistoric age where we don't have written records and we depend on archaeology. So it's important to address from the start that language is not necessarily race in any sense of the word. People speaking a particular language could be from a variety of ethnic and even racial backgrounds.