Lise Menn lise.menn at Colorado.EDU
Mon Mar 21 00:45:25 UTC 2011

Yes - and again, psycholinguists have been working with this kind of  
base/derivative relative frequency effect for a long time.

On Mar 20, 2011, at 6:41 PM, Angus B. Grieve-Smith wrote:

>    Aya, I've been thinking about your "rooster" example.  I think  
> one important factor is that the noun "rooster" has become much more  
> frequent than the verb "roost."  As English-speaking societies have  
> become less and less agricultural, we see roosters a lot less  
> frequently, our opportunities to see them roosting dwindle, and thus  
> roosting has become less significant as a characteristic of  
> roosters.  In contrast, I think that most English speakers would be  
> able to tell you why a particular kind of bird is called a "roaster."
>    Other derived words that have similarly outpaced their roots,  
> like "computer," and we'd expect them to be treated similarly.
> -- 
> 				-Angus B. Grieve-Smith
> 				grvsmth at

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