Ars Technica posted an interesting article about the development of language. Language has been studied extensively, but recently a group of researchers constructed and performed a study to test how languages change in different environments. The aim of the study was to test how the language-using population size affects the rate of change. The researchers found that larger populations gain new words faster and smaller populations lose words more quickly. Further work is required to see how widely these results apply. The work could have implications for understanding the diversification of language families. It could even be useful for archaeology itself, as a greater understanding of language evolution can help piece together the history of human cultures.
The More Language Users, the More Words
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About the Author: Ellyssa
Ellyssa Valenti Kroski is the Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute as well as an award-winning editor and author of 60 books including Law Librarianship in the Digital Age for which she won the AALL's 2014 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award. Her ten-book technology series, The Tech Set won the ALA's Best Book in Library Literature Award in 2011. She is a librarian, an adjunct faculty member at Pratt Institute, and an international conference speaker.
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