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  1. Rate of language evolution is affected by population sizeBromham, Lindell - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012 - 3 Hypotheses

    Population size is generally assumed to play a pivotal role in the evolution of languages and cultures, but the expected patterns and potential mechanisms of change are unsettled. Theoretical models are limited by this uncertainty because they require making prior assumptions about language evolution. Using a sample of 20 Polynesian languages, authors test the effect of population size on the gain, loss, and total change of basic vocabulary words.

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  2. Population Size and the Rate of Language Evolution: A Test Across Indo-European, Austronesian, and Bantu LanguagesGreenhill, Simon J. - Frontiers in Psychology, 2018 - 1 Hypotheses

    How is the evolution of language shaped by speaker population size? Through comparative data analyses of 153 language pairs from the Austronesian, Indo-European, and Niger-Congo language families, the authors find that the influence of population size on language evolution is not the same in the three language families. Only in Indo-European languages did a smaller population size of language-speakers significantly predict more word loss.

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