A. Katz amnfn at
Mon Mar 21 03:10:41 UTC 2011


This is a plausible explanation for this particular example, but I'm not 
entirely convinced. When I tested rural Missourians, they seemed to have 
as much trouble as urban dwellers-- even when they had real life 
experiences with roosters.


On Sun, 20 Mar 2011, 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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