Lupyan and Dale
do a statistical analysis of over 2,000 languages to show that
...languages spoken by large groups have simpler inflectional morphology than languages spoken by smaller groups, as measured on a variety of factors such as case systems and complexity of conjugations. Additionally, languages spoken by large groups are much more likely to use lexical strategies in place of inflectional morphology to encode evidentiality, negation, aspect, and possession.
This suggests that
...just as biological organisms are shaped by ecological niches, language structures appear to adapt to the environment (niche) in which they are being learned and used.
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