Neutral change

Posted on August 23, 2016 by

In other prize-related news, PhD student Henri Kauhanen is the recipient of this year’s Anna Siewierska Prize!

The prize is awarded every two years by the LAGB for the best essay by a PhD student or recent graduate on a topic in linguistics. The prize is awarded in memory of Anna Siewierska, who was an active and distinguished member of the LAGB until her tragic and untimely death in 2011.

You can view Henri’s paper here. It’s also available to view via FirstView at the Journal of Linguistics, where it’s been accepted for publication. The paper deals with language change in the case where neither the old nor the new variant has any inherent advantage over the other. It presents a mathematical model of this kind of change, including a structured and dynamic speech community, and shows that it gives rise to S-curve-like patterns over time.

Manchet congratulates Henri on this impressive achievement, and encourages everyone to go and read the paper!

Featured image: Figure 11 from the article. If you want to know what it means, read and find out!