Usage frequency and lexical class determine the evolution of kinship terms in Indo-European

Royal Society Open Science Vol/Iss. 6(10) The Royal Society Published In Pages: ??
By Rácz, Péter, Passmore, Sam, Sheard, Catherine, Jordan, Fiona M.


The rate of replacement for Indo-European kinship terms is correlated with their usage frequency.


"We found a negative correlation between how often a kin term is used in the languages in our sample and its estimated rate of replacement (est = −0.58, s.d. = 0.07, t = −8.72)."


Test NameSupportSignificanceCoefficientTail
Phylogenetic comparative methodsSupportedUNKNOWNUNKNOWNUNKNOWN


Variable NameVariable Type OCM Term(s)
Rate of word replacementDependentVocabulary
Frequency of word useIndependentVocabulary