New PDF release: Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and

By Morten H. Christiansen

ISBN-10: 026203431X

ISBN-13: 9780262034319

Language is a trademark of the human species; the flexibleness and unbounded expressivity of our linguistic talents is exclusive within the organic international. during this booklet, Morten Christiansen and Nick Chater argue that to appreciate this impressive phenomenon, we needs to examine how language is created: second via second, within the iteration and realizing of person utterances; 12 months through 12 months, as new language novices collect language abilities; and iteration by means of iteration, as languages swap, break up, and fuse throughout the procedures of cultural evolution. Christiansen and Chater suggest a progressive new framework for figuring out the evolution, acquisition, and processing of language, delivering an built-in idea of the way language construction is intertwined throughout those a number of timescales.

Christiansen and Chater argue that mainstream generative ways to language don't supply compelling bills of language evolution, acquisition, and processing. their very own account attracts on very important advancements from around the language sciences, together with statistical traditional language processing, learnability conception, computational modeling, and psycholinguistic experiments with young children and adults. Christiansen and Chater additionally reflect on the various significant implications in their theoretical technique for our figuring out of the way language works, supplying replacement money owed of particular features of language, together with the constitution of the vocabulary, the significance of expertise in language processing, and the character of recursive linguistic structure.

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Additional info for Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing

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Whereas the former are hypothesized to derive from the internal workings of a UG-based language system, the latter originate from cognitive and pragmatic constraints related to language acquisition and use. Consider the tendency in English to place long phrases after short ones, for example, as evidenced by so-called heavy-NP shifts, illustrated in (5) and (6) (5) John found PP[under his bed] NP[the book he had not been able to locate for over two months]. (6) John found NP[the book he had not been able to locate for over two months] PP[under his bed].

But this could not be the case for the arbitrary regularities purported to be encoded in UG. , reasoning about other’s communicative intentions; increased memory capacity allowing a large vocabulary; or the structure of the vocal apparatus, and so on). Problem 2: The dispersion of human populations The thesis that a genetically encoded UG arose through adaptation not only must deal with the issue of language being a moving target for genetic assimilation, but also faces the problem of the dispersion of human populations.

Baronchelli, Chater, Pastor-Satorras, and Christiansen (2012) conducted a series of simulations to determine the plausibility of evolving an innate UG in light of the dispersion of human populations. They adapted the Chater et al. (2009) model of the evolution of language and genes, mentioned above, by splitting an initially stable “mother population” into two geographically separated groups. Their results revealed two different patterns: When language changes rapidly, it becomes a moving target, and neutral genes are favored in both populations—that is, no UG emerged.

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Creating Language: Integrating Evolution, Acquisition, and Processing by Morten H. Christiansen

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