Showing posts from April, 2016

Counting time!

Let's start with some shameless self-promotion: this week, Andreea Calude and I published a paper on Indo-European numerals. We investigate how these languages form numerals beyond 1-10, so 11-99, 100s, and 1000s. There are many famous languages around with crazy numeral systems but we were interested in both the regular and the crazy. For that purpose, we investigate data from Eugene Chan's amazing database 'Numeral system's of the world's languages' to get an overview of how regular and how crazy the Indo-European languages are.

Turns out there are indeed some well-known crazies to be found in Indo-European: Welsh, which forms 18 by 2 * 9, Breton, which forms 50 by 1/2 * 100, and Danish, which uses a base 10 for 20, 30, and 40, but a base 20 for 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90.

But aside from these rara in the expression of particular numbers, most languages form higher numerals in very regular ways. One particular interest of us is when languages start using syntagm…

Hedvig's Evolutionary/Diversity Linguistics Mixtape vol. 1

Lately I've been reading papers in diversity and evolutionary linguistics and some in biology. And I've also been creating mixtapes for friends. So, it occurred to me to make a mixtape of academic papers that go well together and that I think should be shared, and well.. here we are now. This is Hedvig's Evolutionary/Diversity Linguistics Mixtape Vol.1! It features some well-known classics, some perhaps lesser well-known ones. They're ordered alphabetically, but can be read ever which way. There's a link to a free PDF for almost all of the publications.

The intention is not to create an exhaustive list of everything in evolutionary/diversity linguistics that is important (just like a mixtape of pop songs does not consist of all excellent pop songs), these publications have been especially selected for how they go together. They are also very suitable for new comers to these kinds of research questions, they're quite accessibly written and readable for non-lingui…