Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Decoupling Speed of Change and Long-Term Preference in Language Evolution: Insights From Romance Verb Stem Alternations


Cathcart, Chundra; Herce, Borja; Bickel, Balthasar (2022). Decoupling Speed of Change and Long-Term Preference in Language Evolution: Insights From Romance Verb Stem Alternations. In: Proceedings of the Joint Conference on Language Evolution (JCoLE), Kanazawa, Japan, 5 September 2022 - 8 September 2022, JCoLE.

Abstract

Romance verb stem alternations (e.g., Spanish tengo `I have' vs. tienes `you have') constitute seemingly unnecessary but highly inheritable morphological traits. Using novel phylogenetic methods, we assess the impact of frequency and alternation patterns on properties of their evolution, specifically on the speed of change and the long term preference for pattern types within lemmata. We find credible differences in long-term trends between alternation patterns, and confirm the notion that frequency drives the maintenance of irregular patterns. However, our model reveals no or only weak effects of either predictor on the speed of change. Our findings call for modeling the multiple dimensions of language change jointly but with distinct parameters for speed (or rates) of change and long-term preferences.

Abstract

Romance verb stem alternations (e.g., Spanish tengo `I have' vs. tienes `you have') constitute seemingly unnecessary but highly inheritable morphological traits. Using novel phylogenetic methods, we assess the impact of frequency and alternation patterns on properties of their evolution, specifically on the speed of change and the long term preference for pattern types within lemmata. We find credible differences in long-term trends between alternation patterns, and confirm the notion that frequency drives the maintenance of irregular patterns. However, our model reveals no or only weak effects of either predictor on the speed of change. Our findings call for modeling the multiple dimensions of language change jointly but with distinct parameters for speed (or rates) of change and long-term preferences.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

74 downloads since deposited on 26 Sep 2022
27 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Language Science
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
Special Collections > NCCR Evolving Language
Special Collections > Centers of Competence > Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Event End Date:8 September 2022
Deposited On:26 Sep 2022 06:38
Last Modified:21 Feb 2023 09:52
Publisher:JCoLE
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.17617/2.3398549
Official URL:https://evolang.org/jcole2022/proceedings/paper.html?nr=188
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)