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Journal article

Frequency of word use predicts rates of lexical evolution throughout Indo-European history

Abstract:

Greek speakers say 'oυρά', Germans 'schwanz', and the French 'queue' to describe what English speakers call a 'tail', but all of these languages use a related form of 'two' to describe the number after one. Among over one hundred Indo-European languages and dialects, the words for some meanings, such as 'tail', evolve rapidly, being expressed across languages by dozens of unrelated words, whilst others evolve much more slowly, such as the number 'two' for which all Indo-European language spea...

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Publication status:
Published
Peer review status:
Peer reviewed
Version:
Accepted Manuscript

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Publisher copy:
10.1038/nature06176

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Institution:
University of Reading
Department:
School of Biological Sciences
More by this author
Institution:
University of Reading
Department:
School of Biological Sciences
More by this author
Institution:
University of Reading
Department:
School of Biological Sciences
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Funding agency for:
Mark Pagel
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group Publisher's website
Journal:
Nature Journal website
Volume:
449
Issue:
7163
Pages:
717-720
Publication date:
2007-10-05
DOI:
EISSN:
1476-4687
ISSN:
0028-0836
URN:
uuid:39a9a999-ca60-4a79-ad1b-3623a5b64966
Local pid:
ora:2801

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