October 10, 2007

Verbal (ir)regularity

Emma Marris, "How 'holp' bccame 'helped'", NatureNews 10/10/2007; Erez Lieberman, Jean-Baptiste Michel, Joe Jackson, Tina Tang & Martin A. Nowak, "Quantifying the evolutionary dynamics of language", Nature 449:713:716, 11 October 2007.

In the same issue, another paper on quantitative modeling of language change:Mark Pagel, Quentin D. Atkinson & Andrew Meade, "Frequency of word-use predicts rates of lexical evolution throughout Indo-European history", Nature 449:717-720, 11 October. And W. Tecumseh Fitch has a News and Views piece surveying both the Lieberman et al. and Pagel et al. papers, "Linguistics: An invisible hand", Nature 449: 665-667, 11 October 2007.

In this case, Nature imitates (comic) Art -- One Big Happy for 10/9/2007:

More seriously: it's terrific to see such prominence given in Nature to several pieces of linguistic research. More on this later.

Posted by Mark Liberman at October 10, 2007 04:34 PM