Language change by George Walkden

Studies focusing on how and why language changes.

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      This work has been published open access under Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Conditions, terms of use and publishing policy can be found at

      cultural evolution, diachronic linguistics, language change, historical linguistics

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          This collection is ScienceOpen's first linguistics collection - and, to my knowledge, its first collection that might be said to fall into the humanities rather than the sciences. There are many reasons for this state of affairs. For one, the humanities lag behind the sciences in both green and gold open access - though linguistics is leading the way (perhaps unsurprisingly, given its liminal status straddling the whole range from arts to hard science). But we ought to start somewhere.

          Researchers in the field of historical linguistics and language change are likely to find this collection unrepresentative of the field as a whole. What is included in the collection so far is heavily skewed towards mathematical and computational modelling of language change, with more use of the word "evolution" than is normally found in historical linguistics papers, and some of the authors are not linguists by training - this is a natural bias given the origin of most of these articles in repositories such as arXiv. Ultimately the collection ought to become more representative, and I aim to include papers from all areas of the field - but this will only happen if publication practices change correspondingly (and ideally if ScienceOpen starts to draw content from sources such as lingBuzz). If you're a historical linguist, you can start today by publishing your work on ScienceOpen and letting me know!

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