[→ Some physicists analyzed 10,000,000 words from 200 years and now understand linguistic evolution.](http://arxiv.org/pdf/1107.3707v2.pdf) According to my linguist colleagues, this happens every few years. The answer is always the same: when you reduce things enough, you can make all kinds of claims. [The Language Log has more.](http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3843)

More Language News

Thanks to another network analysis of linguistic data — previous story [here](http://johnlaudun.org/20110414-some-possible-revisions-to-generative-linguistics/) — scholars seem to have traced the origin of language to … well, to the origin of human beings in eastern Africa. The Economist has a [write-up](http://www.economist.com/node/18557572).

More Bwob (a Lily language)

So everyone remembers [*mickelebah*](http://johnlaudun.org/20080329-a-new-language/)? What about *derflar* and its plural form, *derflarmo*? (The latter gave Lily’s made-up language an official designation: *bwob*.) It turns out that there is more to say in bwob: *lelah asoz* means “I want to pick some flowers.” *Asoz* actually means anything that is pickable: so flowers as well as wheat and rice are all technically asoz.