Saturday, October 13, 2007

Verb regularization

Well, I wasn't going to write a word about the set of new Nature articles on language change, given the coverage on Language Log and the nice overview here, where the journalists talked to two linguists about verbs — Brian Joseph and Steven Pinker, pretty much the people you'd want to talk to about this. But Erez Lieberman and co-authors make some very interesting claims in their piece "Quantifying the Evolutionary Dynamics of Language". Amazing piece and very interesting, but take a look at the data, here. They list verbs like hurt as regular ('weak') in Old English. But as far as I know, it's not attested until the 12th c. Any idea what's going on there?


Anonymous said...


I don't think they used it in the study; they haven't found it in OE or ME (source# indicated as 'N')

Mr. Verb said...

Thanks. Yeah, I think that's right ... This post probably reflected only a first quick read of the paper.