Adaptive Communication: Languages with More Non-Native Speakers Tend to Have Fewer Word Forms

@article{Bentz2015AdaptiveCL,
  title={Adaptive Communication: Languages with More Non-Native Speakers Tend to Have Fewer Word Forms},
  author={Christian Bentz and Annemarie Verkerk and Douwe Kiela and Felix Hill and Paula Buttery and Mark Aronoff},
  journal={PLoS ONE},
  year={2015},
  volume={10}
}
Explaining the diversity of languages across the world is one of the central aims of typological, historical, and evolutionary linguistics. We consider the effect of language contact-the number of non-native speakers a language has-on the way languages change and evolve. By analysing hundreds of languages within and across language families, regions, and text types, we show that languages with greater levels of contact typically employ fewer word forms to encode the same information content (a… 
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