Graduate student Joel Tenenbaum's paper on word extinction featured in press

March 25, 2012

The findings of Boston University physics department alumnus Alexander Petersen and graduate student Joel Tenenbaum have been featured in Science News, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, and other news outlets. Their work draws statistical connections between business firms competing for market share and words “competing” for usage by speakers across three languages. They quantify the “tipping point”, at which an emerging word will go mainstream and show that significant historical events, such World War II and the founding of Israel, affect the way words “compete” with each other. The work is published in Scientific Reports at