Navigation Links
Survival of the fittest: Linguistic evolution in practice
Date:12/8/2011

(Washington, DC) A new study of how compound word formation is influenced by subtle forms of linguistic pressure demonstrates that words which "sound better" to the speakers of a language have a higher chance of being created, suggesting that, like biological organisms, words are subject to selection pressures that play a role in deciding which words become part of a language over time.

The study, "Grammars leak: Modeling how phonotactic generalizations interact within the grammar," to be published in the December 2011 issue of the scholarly journal Language, is authored by Andrew Martin, of the Laboratory for Language Development at the RIKEN Brain Science Center in Wako, Japan. A preprint version is available on line at: http://lsadc.org/info/documents/2011/press-releases/martin.pdf

Different languages are marked by the different restrictions they place on which sounds are permitted to occur in words. In English, for example, long consonants are not allowed within single morphemes (units of meaning), but they are permitted in compound words like bookcase, where two identical consonants are located next to each other across the boundary between the two morphemes. Compare the pronunciation of the /p/ in car pool versus carp poolthe two compound words differ only in the length with which the /p/ is held.

Before now, the rules in English that govern long consonants have been stated simply: they are forbidden within morphemes, but if a long consonant is created by combining two words to form a compound, then it's allowed. "In my paper, however, I present evidence from a corpus of written English that things are not so neatin fact, when English speakers create compounds, they tend to avoid creating compounds like bookcase that contain long consonants, even though these words are permitted by the rules of English" Dr. Martin commented. One implication of
'/>"/>

Contact: Alyson Reed
areed@lsadc.org
202-835-1714
Linguistic Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Law enforcement vital for great ape survival
2. Addition of trastuzumab may potentially equalize disease-free survival outcomes among obese and normal-weight patients
3. Environmental conditions and predators affect Atlantic salmon survival in the Gulf of Maine
4. Biodiversity can promote survival on a warming planet
5. Gray jays winter survival depends on food storage, study shows
6. Salmon and other fish predators rely on no guts, no glory survival tactic
7. Gene flux can foretell survival for trauma patients, Princeton study finds
8. Sensory experience and rest control survival of newborn neurons in adults
9. Trastuzumab and chemotherapy improved survival in HER2-postive breast and brain cancer patients
10. Bacteria develop restraint for survival in a rock-paper-scissors community
11. A drug combination extends survival in refractory lung cancer patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/2/2014)... most ideal source of nutrition for infants and ... the evolution and civilizations of human beings. Unlike ... number of bacterial species, including some opportunistic pathogens ... to scientists and physicians. , Indeed, the existence ... result of co-evolutionary and co-adaptive interactions between the ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... integrity? Tell the truth; everyone has a tipping point. We ... lie if the benefit is great enough. Now, scientists have ... that decision. , The result was published online this ... prefer to be honest, even if lying is beneficial," said ... at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute , where ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... propensity for eating anything, including each other, camel crickets ... North Carolina State University finds that non-native camel cricket ... States. , "The good news is that camel crickets ... humans," says Dr. Mary Jane Epps, a postdoctoral researcher ... about the research. , The research stems from a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Are human breast milk microbiome 'neutral'? 2Are human breast milk microbiome 'neutral'? 3Scientists find possible neurobiological basis for tradeoff between honesty, self-interest 2Scientists find possible neurobiological basis for tradeoff between honesty, self-interest 3Scientists find possible neurobiological basis for tradeoff between honesty, self-interest 4Researchers find Asian camel crickets now common in US homes 2
... the triangle depicting how many servings of each food ... knows about MyPlate - the circle showing what a healthy ... United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help American consumers ... icon that prompts us to think about what,s on our ...
... gene therapy holds promise for the treatment of devastating genetic ... have been unclear. In a study online December 26th ... by Cell Press, researchers evaluated a patient with a genetic ... after he had undergone a gene therapy procedure as part ...
... neurodegenerative disorders, and drugs without significant side effects ... Institute of Synergon Consulting in Romania, led by ... is a transcription co-activator required for consolidation of ... same time involved in DNA replication and repair, ...
Cached Biology News:Who is using MyPlate? 2Gene therapy for human skin disease produces long-term benefits 2
(Date:9/2/2014)... about a billionth of a meter in size, are ... can benefit human health, as in some innovative early ... through viruses, air pollution, traffic emissions, cosmetics, sunscreen and ... in St. Louis, led by Lan Yang, PhD, the ... Systems Engineering, and their collaborators at Tsinghua University in ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... Scientists, including University of Oregon chemist Geraldine Richmond, ... of self-assembling, synthetic proteins called peptoid nanosheets that ... accomplishment -- detailed this week in a paper ... Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ... of the two-dimensional peptoid nanosheets that can be ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... 2, 2014 Persistence Market Research ... in Pharmaceutical, Biopharma and Life Sciences: North ... the global membrane technology market for pharmaceutical, biopharma and life sciences ... is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.1% ... of USD 10,886.0 million in 2019. Browse ...
(Date:9/2/2014)... AVENTURA, Fla. , Sept. 2, 2014  Technology ... has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Renuell Int,l, Inc. ... National Aeronautics and Space Administration ("NASA") at the Johnson ... See photos: tapplic.com/houstonphotos/ ... stated, "We are very pleased to announce our latest, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles 2Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles 3UO-Berkeley Lab unveil new nano-sized synthetic scaffolding technique 2Global Membrane Technology Market Will Reach $10,886.0 Million in 2019: Persistence Market Research 2Global Membrane Technology Market Will Reach $10,886.0 Million in 2019: Persistence Market Research 3Global Membrane Technology Market Will Reach $10,886.0 Million in 2019: Persistence Market Research 4Global Membrane Technology Market Will Reach $10,886.0 Million in 2019: Persistence Market Research 5Technology Applications International Corporation Subsidiary Enters Into Additional Exclusive Agreement with NASA at a Signing Ceremony at the Johnson Space Center In Houston, Texas 2Technology Applications International Corporation Subsidiary Enters Into Additional Exclusive Agreement with NASA at a Signing Ceremony at the Johnson Space Center In Houston, Texas 3
... that it,has received the European CE Mark (Conformite Europeene) ... CE Mark certifies,that the product has met EU health, ... Granted in the Netherlands, the,registration will allow the system ... countries around the world that recognize the CE Mark. ...
... Calif., Oct. 29 Cliniqa Corporation (San,Marcos, ... is pleased to,announce the acquisition of the ... Diego, CA), a wholly owned subsidiary of ... manufacturer of clinical,diagnostic products focusing on clinical ...
... to Focus on Sales Growth and Product ... BioLife Solutions,Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BLFS), a ... and cryopreservation media products for,cells, tissues, and ... product,manufacturing, warehousing, and customer order fulfillment to ...
Cached Biology Technology:Diamics Receives European CE Mark Approval for Its Pap-Map(TM) System for Cervical Cancer Screening 2Cliniqa Corporation Completes Asset Acquisition of Reagents Applications, Inc. 2BioLife Solutions Outsourcing Manufacturing, Warehousing, and Order Fulfillment to Bioserv Corporation 2BioLife Solutions Outsourcing Manufacturing, Warehousing, and Order Fulfillment to Bioserv Corporation 3