Database explains strange survival of irregular verbs

(PhysOrg.com) -- An historical study of the development of irregular verbs in the hundreds of Romance languages including French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and Catalan has revealed how these structures survive. ...

How language change sneaks in

Languages are continually changing, not just words but also grammar. A recent study examines how such changes happen and what the changes can tell us about how speakers' grammars work. The study, "The course of actualization", ...

Chance plays a role in how language evolves, study finds

Read a few lines of Chaucer or Shakespeare and you'll get a sense of how the English language has changed during the past millennium. Linguists catalogue these changes and work to discern why they happened. Meanwhile, evolutionary ...

Researchers develop grammar-aware password cracker

When writing or speaking, good grammar helps people make themselves be understood. But when used to concoct a long computer password, grammar—good or bad—provides crucial hints that can help someone crack that password, ...

Nouns slow down our speech

Speakers hesitate or make brief pauses filled with sounds like "uh" or "uhm" mostly before nouns. Such slow-down effects are far less frequent before verbs, as UZH researchers working together with an international team have ...

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