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I was wondering if there were any current models that measured the effect of cultural shifts in a given language. Specifically, is there consistent/model-able lag between major cultural events and how it affects a language.

In my instance, I am thinking in terms of the spread of Hellenism which resulted in the adoption of (Attic/Ionic -> Koine) Greek as lingua franca for a discernible period of time. Is there an existing way to measure/model the influence of Alexander's conquered areas on the "base" language? When did any Balkan influence appear? Asian?

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  • There's nowhere near enough evidence for serious numeric work on ancient language changes. We're doing well to note that they happened at all. As for modern language changes, they're very expensive to survey and there are way too many models waiting to test. – jlawler May 10 '13 at 17:23

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